Frrrrreezingly cold. But sunny and a perfect day for a short walk through Haidhausen and the nearby “Englischer Garten“. The latter, a perfect spot all year around for running, walking or simply people and (better yet) dog watching.
The best part about our outside stroll was knowing what treat we’d be in for, as soon as we’d got back home. Alastair Hendy has lately been influencing our kitchen adventures quite a bit, in many positive ways – despite one time when we had a minor issue with a gnocchi recipe of his (the amounts had to be graciously adjusted). As simple as this dessert looks, it is to die for and definitely worth temporarily suspending any new years resolutions remotely connected to desserts & culinary debauchery… Baked apples always have been the embodiment of the classic winter dessert and in spite of many different variations we made over the years – caramelizing them before baking just set a new standard. I even overcame my “deep fear” of preparing caramel, also I’m still not quite sure how it’s done correctly: Are you supposed to stir the sugar when it begins to melt or stay clear from the stove? Different sources tell different things. The usual. And I wrecked more than one pan in the past due to bad, bad caramel…
Not sure how much it really matters in the end, but I would not choose the sweetest apples for the recipe, because the caramel adds more than a noticeable amount of sweetness (no kidding). Granny Smith apples are certainly on the other end of the spectrum, but Braeburn, Discovery or Cox Orange should work just fine.
Peel the apples and place them in a bowl of water with the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
Add 1 tbsp of water to the sugar and cook at medium heat until it turns into a thin, golden layer of caramel. Then fold in the butter.
Remove the apples from the bowl, pat them dry and place in a deep, ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and pour butter caramel over the apples. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes at 180°C (360°F) or until apples are tender.
Serve in a bowl with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream – or both. And make yourself comfortable on the sofa of your choice :)
Recipe source: Genießen mit Gästen, Alastair Hendy, p.148
Prep time: 20min., baking: 40-50min.
Ingredients (serves 4):
4 medium sized apples, e.g. Braeburn
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp of water
1 tsp cinnamon
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream