Episode 112: Fruit Fete
Recipe: Good Lady Apples Bon Femme
For these baked apples, ubiquitous in home cooking as well as in country inns and restaurants, only a few ingredients are needed. Inexpensive and quickly prepared, the dish can be made year round. Use an apple that will keep its shape during cooking, such as Golden or Red Delicious, russet, Granny Smith, or Pippin.
The apples look best when they have just emerged from the oven, puffed from the heat and glossy with rich color. But it’s best to serve them barely lukewarm, even though they will shrivel a bit as they cool. If you have leftovers, the apples can be reheated the next day (baste them with the juice). These are delicious served with a slice of pound cake or with sour cream.
The mixture of apricot jam, maple syrup, and butter makes a flavorful sauce. If you don’t have maple syrup, substitute granulated sugar. You could also add lemon juice and cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, or any other spice that you like.
6 large apples (2 pounds)
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/3 cup light maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Using a corer or a knife, core apples. Be sure to plunge the corer or knife straight down so that it doesn’t miss the core (if this happens, use the corer or knife to remove any remaining seeds).
With the point of a knife, make an incision in the skin about a third of the way down each apple and cut through the skin 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep all around. As the apple cooks, the flesh expands and the part of the apple above this cut will lift up like a lid. Without this scoring, the apple could burst.
Arrange the apples in a gratin dish or other baking dish that is attractive enough to be brought to the table. Coat the apples with the apricot jam and maple syrup and dot with the butter. Bake for 30 minutes.
Baste the apples with the juice, and cook for another 30 minutes. The apples should be cooked throughout — plump, brown, and soft to the touch. Let cool to lukewarm before serving.
Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.