Caramel Poached Apples
Yep. I’m officially neglecting my blog.
But I’m gonna try harder! After spending a huge portion of my brain thinking up dessert fabulousness for Delancey, I’ve been neglecting ME. I just haven’t been cooking much, at least not much that inspires cataloguing and sharing with the people of the interweb. So today I decided to merge worlds. In Washington pear season is pretty much over now (is it this short in California?) and it’s apples as far as the eye can see. I’ve been seeking out a winner apple dessert for weeks and the results have been pretty lukewarm at best. I’ve been looking for something uncomplicated, a way to celebrate the apple without covering it up with other flavors. Today I got it: Caramel Poached Apples.
I started by heating up some locally made apple cider with cinnamon and star anise.
Meanwhile I started sugar boiling for a caramel.
When the sugar caramelized, I added the hot cider mixture. I let that steep with the spices for 20 minutes.
While the cider caramel was steeping, I prepared the apples for poaching. I peeled them and cored them from the bottom, leaving the top stem intact. This was a bit tricky, since I wasn’t using gigantic apples. I ended up digging out its innards with a 1/4 teaspoon.
I placed the apples in the caramel, which I had thinned with more cider, some white wine and lemon juice and flavored with a vanilla bean and a bit more sugar. I poached the apples until they were fork tender, flipping them halfway since I didn’t make enough poaching liquid to cover them (oops!).
But oh my, they were good. Since I’m not big on boozy desserts, I’ve never been huge fan of poached fruit. They always just taste so…soaked in alcohol. But this tasted like heavenly, caramelly goodness all the way through to the apple’s core, well if there was still a core. Now I just need to dream up something crunchy to pair with these little apple caramel bombs.
CARAMEL POACHED APPLES RECIPE (adapted from Sherry Yard):
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups apple cider
3/4 cup water
6 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP sliced peeled ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
4 medium apples, peeled and cored
1 1/2 cup apple cider
1 1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup sugar
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- Put 3 cups sugar and 1 cup water in large pot. Heat on low, stirring until the sugar is melted. Turn heat up to medium and let boil, undisturbed.
- Meanwhile put 1 1/2 cups apple cider, 3/4 cup water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick, star anise in a small pot and bring to boil. Set aside.
- Once the boiling sugar turns amber, slowly add in the hot cider mixture. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain out spices.
- Add the 1 1/2 cup apple cider, white wine, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice and vanilla bean to the caramel. Add the apples to the poaching liquid. Place a sheet of parchment on top and weigh down with a plate. Heat on medium low, bringing to just under a boil. Poach until fork tender.
- Remove apples from liquid and eat immediately, or place back in liquid once it has cooled (to keep the apples from overcooking).
- Goes great with whipped cream.