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Mashed Apples and Potatoes - Himmel und Erde


Himmel und Erde - Apples and Potatoes

Himmel und Erde - Apples and Potatoes


There are so many variations to the recipe for "Himmel und Erde" (lit. heaven and earth) and so many German regions claim to have invented it, that any written recipe will be controversial. Germans like to make this dish as the main part of the meal, using Boskops or Elstar apples when available. Here is a simple version which can be dressed up or down and will go nicely as a side dish to pork chops or pork loin.

Makes 2 servings as a main dish with sausage or 4 servings as a side dish for pork.

This recipe can be doubled easily.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 lb. yellow onions, about 2 large
  • 4-6 T. butter
  • 1 lb. apples, about 4, Boskop or Elstar
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. sugar, or to taste
  • 1 lb. starchy potatoes (Russet), about 4-5 medium
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


Slice the onions thinly and evenly. Start to brown them in 3 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan on medium heat. Cook and stir, adding butter as necessary to keep onions from sticking, until golden brown. Depending on how brown you like them, this will take 20 minutes or more.

Peel and chop apples. Place them in a pan with one cup of water, lemon juice and sugar and cook until apples start falling apart and become chunky applesauce. Add water as necessary.

After apples have been cooking for 15 minutes, peel and slice or chop potatoes. Cook in salted water until tender. Pour off water and mash with a potato masher, adding butter, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

When applesauce is to your liking, taste and adjust lemon or sugar, then mix applesauce into potatoes. Serve with the caramelized onions on top.

Serving suggestions:

  • Blood sausage, sliced, dipped in flour and lightly fried
  • Fried German bologna
  • Fresh, grilled or fried bratwurst
  • Pork chops

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