Friday, May 13, 2011

Spiced Poached Apples

Tonight's dessert is brought to you by Dorie Greenspan.

I made dinner one night instead of going out. At the time, we didn't have much in the way of desserts, aside from leftover Easter candy (somehow, sitting at the dining table after slaving away to make dinner, and eating half a hollow chocolate bunny didn't seem to fit), so I decided to flip through the dessert section of Around my French Table.

This poached apple recipe was pretty easy, and as desserts go, pretty healthy. Yes, it's full of sugar, but there's no fat at all, and the start is a piece of fruit. I dressed it up by adding 1/2lb of kumquats I'd purchase a few weeks ago and had no idea how to use- since we were going away a few days after this, I decided I'd better use them up now rather than risk letting them go back while I was gone.

Clint said this was too sweet for him, but I really enjoyed it. I can't decide if I like it better hot or cold, though- which means it might be a nice dessert for a hot summer evening.

Dorie's Poached Apples
from Around my French Table, page 396

1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar (maybe reduce this to 3T)
3 cups water
zest and juice from 1/2 orange (cut the zest into long strips)
zest and juice from 1/2 lemon (cut the zest into long strips)
3 pieces star anise
1 cinnamon stick (2in long)
vanilla bean (I used 1/2t vanilla paste)
3 medium apples or pears, peeled, cored and cut in half

In a medium saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, water, orange, lemon, anise and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the apples and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 min, until the fruit can be pierced easily with a knife- check its progress as it goes, different varieties of apples/pears may cook more quickly.

Remove the fruit once it's done, and boil the syrup for 10 min more. Pour the syrup over the fruit and let cool. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

I think I'd love this with a small slice of spiced pound cake or angel food cake.

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