Tufahije

This quick and easy, make ahead Bosnian dessert tastes as impressive as it looks!

Preparation Time: 20 minutesCooking Time: 15 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 1 hour+Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 Granny Smith (or other tart) apples
  • 150g/5oz/1 1/4 cups of chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 270ml/3 dl/1/2 pt/just over a cup of whipped cream, or a can of squirty cream
  • 500g/17.5oz/2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 500ml/5dl/1 pt/2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make it vegan: you can replace the honey with maple syrup, or use a vegan honey. You can also replace the cream with a plant based whipping cream of squirty cream.

Special equipment

  • A blender
  • A saucepan
  • A piping bag and nozzle for the whipped cream, if not using a can of squirty cream

Instructions

  1. Blend two thirds of the walnuts in a food processor until they’re ground. 
  2. Add a fifth of a cup of cream and 2 tablespoons of honey to the ground walnuts and blend together.
  3. Peel the apples. Use a knife to carefully remove the cores- but keep the apples whole, and don’t completely cut through to the bottom.
  4. Pour the water, lemon, vanilla and sugar into a saucepan and place it on the hob over a high heat. Stir the contents thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved, and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the apples to the saucepan and cook them for ten to fifteen minutes, until they are a little softened. Don’t overcook them.
  6. ‌Remove the apples and place them on a serving dish or dishes. Leave them to cool, and add the remainder of the honey to the syrup. Simmer it for a few more minutes, until thickened. 
  7. Ladle the nut mixture into the apple hollows. 
  8. Then ladle the syrup over the apples. Pipe some of the remaining cream onto each apple, then sprinkle the remaining chopped walnuts on top.  
  9. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  10. Prijatno!


Tips

  • Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the apples when you are coring them, or the nut mixture will spill out. The apple should be like a hollowed out cup. 
  • Tufahije is traditionally served cold, in glass bowls, with hot cups of coffee.

Background

Home: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia

Relatives: Dolmeh Sib (Iran), Pecheni Yabalki (Bulgaria). There are also Balkan variations of Tufahije with a cherry topping instead of walnuts, with apricot flavoured whipped cream, and with a coffee, sour cream and whipped egg white filling instead of the walnut and cream mixture. 

History

Bosnia has a rich musical, literary, cinematic and architectural heritage, which reflect its extensive Islamic and Central European influences. The country also boasts beautifully dramatic mountains, and is today known for its bridges, museums, and memorials to its tragic recent history. 

When the Roman Empire was divided into East and West in the 4th century AD, the regions of Dalmatia and Pannonia (parts of which constitute modern Bosnia) were administered by the Western Roman Empire. They were then subjugated by various Germanic tribes after the empire was destroyed. By the 6th century, they were reconquered by the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantines), and by the twelfth, Bosnia was reasonably autonomous, though caught between the warring Byzantine Empire and Kingdom of Hungary. In the 15th century, Bosnia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, which  would go on to rule the region for the next four centuries. 

 The Ottomans had a huge impact on Bosnian ethnicity, religion, and culture. As such, Bosnian food is heavily influenced by Ottoman and Middle Eastern cuisines. It tends to be meaty, hearty and filling: Kebabs and Meze are common savoury foods, and Turkish desserts like Tulumba and Baklava are very popular. Tufahije itself is derived from a Persian dish which arrived in Bosnia via Istanbul- the word comes from the Arabic word for ‘apple’ ( تفاح, tuffah). Tufahije is especially popular at Eid, and is served with (very strong) coffee.

Dingoa, Trnovačko jezero, Maglić, 2007 <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trnova%C4%8Dko_jezero,_Magli%C4%87.jpg> [accessed 11/02/2020] (commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode)
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