9/12/08

Autumn. My Favorite Season.



Summer's almost over, and not fast enough for me, I might add.

It is time to gather my troops by the fire, serve big mugs of hot cocoa, roast marshmallows and confabulate about the day's events, until we go into a sugar coma. Yeh. Brought to you by a chick born on the Pearl of the Caribbean.

So, are you as excited as I am to welcome Fall? Is that scattered applause I hear?
C'mon nay sayers! It's not like I'm asking you to throw yourself on top of a grenade. I'm merely suggesting you give grilled-marked foods a day off, and dust off your stove instead.

Here's a treat (made with 90% natural ingredients, and 10% what-you-don't-know-can't-hurt-you). It's a delicious way to wrap yourself in the warmth of an autumnal dessert, while giving your forsaken oven a jump-start. Abuse as directed.



Honey Baked Apples

3 Golden Delicious apples
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup dry vermouth
3 small sweet apples(Rome or McIntosh; about ¾ pound total)
½ cup heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons honey
Grated zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coarse salt
Crème anglaise, optional (recipe follows)

Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven, and preheat oven to 350°F.
Slice the Golden Delicious apples in half* through the equator and scoop out the core with a melon baller. Put the apple halves in a baking dish, cut side up, and brush with melted butter.. Pour the vermouth into the dish and bake the apples for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the sweet apples and grate them on a box grater onto a kitchen towel. Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze over the sink (or do it over a cup, and drink up), getting some of the juice out of the apples. Drop grated apples into a bowl, and add the cream, yolk, honey, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Mound apple filling onto the Golden Delicious apples and bake for 60 minutes, basting several times, until the apples are tender (or when a knife goes through the apple with little effort) and filling is golden brown.
Let cool 5 minutes before serving with the Crème anglaise, if using. Btw, the bee is sugarpaste with gelatin wings. Easy enough for anyone to make.


*Note: I used 4 Golden Delicious, as there was enough filling for all 4. I also sliced the tops off each apple (picture above) instead of cutting them through the equator.


Honey Crème Anglaise


½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup honey

Have ready a bowl filled with ice, and set a smaller bowl and a strainer on the ice.
In a small saucepan pour in the cream and milk. Bring to a simmer. In another bowl whisk the yolks and honey until light. When the cream is simmering, pour it in a steady stream into the yolks, whisking while you pour. Whisk for about 30 seconds, and return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat, until the cream thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Strain the sauce into the bowl set over ice. Allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally. Serve the sauce right away, or refrigerate for 24 hours.
Adapted from Roy Finamore's Tasty.

20 comments:

farida said...

Marysol, your photos are killing me again. I can't stop looking at them - they are so beautiful!

Now about your baked apples. What a great recipe! I think I will try making these one day, hopefully soon. The recipe is already printing, can you hear the sound?:)

One question. Is there a good substitute for vermouth? I don't have it at home. Muchisimas gracias, amiga!

joey said...

We're on our way over, Toots! Your baked apples and autumn are, as my husband says, "As good as it gets!"
Happy happy autumn, dear friend ;)

Brilynn said...

Although I'm not fully ready to welcome fall, I would love one of those baked apples!

dishesdone said...

Sol, another masterpiece! A perfect way to welcome autumn. I love the fall and I love baked apples! and your apples look absolutely fabulous! That picture has me craving!

once in a blue moon... said...

hmm, i thought for sure you would have a tart, not something so sweet you wild thang! your pic sucked me in as usual, your style is a vortex i tumble in everytime. bee~utiful! printed and waiting for a crisp night to enjoy.

Marysol said...

Fari, I use vermouth in cooking all the time, so that's what I used, but it's not essential in this recipe. Apple juice or apple cider would be even better here.

Joey, c'mon over my friend, and bring hubby with you. We'll celebrate all things autumn!
I cannot wait for your autumnal collages.

Brilynn, I hear you. It's been raining here, and everything is still very green, so it's hard to envision Fall, at least, until the leaves turn. But I just couldn't wait for Mother Nature to break out her paint brushes.


Carol! It's so good to see your bad self - I've missed you on the CF.

Jain, my dear, I'll tart it up right, just for you, next time!

Thank you, and best wishes for a Happy Autumn to my foodie brigade!

ziabaki said...

Honey and baked apples? I think you are on to something here! Since I have an obbession to lighten everything up I can , I think I will try this with low fat half and half, and an egg yolk. Maybe some walnuts? Hummmmm... ya got me thinking. Beautiful pictures, love the bee! Come by and check out my blog.
http://danazia.wordpress.com/
Dana Zia

chuck said...

I think fall is my favorite time of year. With all the root vegetables ready to be picked and the hard fruits. Yes, I'm excited. I love the little bee in the photo.

PaniniKathy said...

Hooray for autumn!! I didn't think I was ready for summer to end, but there is something so cozy about a misty, gray day every once in a while. Baked apples are another reason I love this time of year - your little bee is just adorable :-)

Leslie said...

mmm.these brought up memories of my childhood! My grandma used to make me baked apples all the time(not as fancy as these)..but I sooooo must make these!!!!Looks dilish!

Marysol said...

Dana, I considered adding walnuts to this recipe, but a certain finicky child in the house derailed such plans.

Chuck, this morning I noticed the leaves starting to turn, and it was not just wishful thinking, I tell you. Btw, root vegetables will be on the menu soon, not my own :-( but a local farmer's market.

PaniniKathy, every one of us here may get thrown into a padded cell for our excitement over a misty and gray Fall day, but at least, we'll be in good company.

Hi Leslie, I'm glad this dessert got you reminiscing of your childhood. Sweet.


Thank you all very kindly!

Once Upon a Plate said...

Oh Sol, you did it again! The recipes look fabulous, and they are further enhanced by your exquisite photograhy. (And your terrific sense of humor!)

I love cool/cold weather food too.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

This looks like the perfect way to welcome fall!

Marysol said...

Thank you Mari and Lynn!
It figures that today would turn out to be the least un-autumny (I'll have to Google that one)day. It's warm and sunny here. But, I must not lose focus ;-)

corinne said...

What a lovely fall treat! You should consider submitting this recipe to the Root Source Challenge. Next week's ingredient is honey and you could win a cookbook. Check it out:

http://www.cookthink.com/blog/?p=1204

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Oh... another delicious recipe... and I love the styling!! Very cute :)

Margot

Marysol said...

Thank you Corinne and Margot! [G]

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I also love autumn! Your baked apples look delicious! A wonderful treat!

Cheers,

Rosa

Sophie said...

Your blog and photos are gorgeous! :) I just found your blog via Lemonpi's and I'm glad I did. That little bee is so cute! I hope you don't mind me adding your blog to my blog list :).

marla said...

Love this recipe, linking back to this tomorrow :)