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Celery-Root and Apple Purée

['5 lb celery root (sometimes called celeriac)', '4 Gala, Empire, or McIntosh apples (1 1/2 lb total)', '1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter', '2 teaspoons salt', '1 cup heavy cream', '1/2 teaspoon white pepper', '1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg', 'Garnish: celery leaves']

Peel celery root with a sharp knife, then cut into 1-inch cubes. Peel and core apples, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
Melt butter in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, then add celery root, apples, and salt and stir to coat with butter. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook (without adding liquid), stirring occasionally, until celery root is tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Purée mixture in batches in a food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes per batch. Return purée to pot and stir in cream, white pepper, and nutmeg. Reheat, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 5 minutes.

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