Fairest of Them All
I really miss apples when they’re gone. I try to follow the seasons, stay local, only buy what’s available at the farmer’s markets but have to admit that I cheat all the time when it comes to apples. Not that I have to these days – the markets are bursting with every variety. My great grandmother, who grew up on a farm in Asturias where they made their own cider, lived to be a very healthy and graceful 103. It could have been the apples or the Estée Lauder but its definitely worth a try. Having found a simple recipe for baked apples, I looked for variations with added butter, custard, almonds, or preserves. They all looked great, and I’ll definitely try them later but it seemed to undermine my initial intention of making a healthy dessert that’s all apple so I stuck to the original idea. I don’t know if apples are really the secret to eternal youth, but I did feel a bit Evil Queenish when I pulled them out and saw their candied jewel tones. They were sweet, tender and perfect with yogurt. Of course, they also go great with ice cream which I’ll try tomorrow, just a little, while I’m still young.
Adapted from Spain…A Culinary Road Trip by Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow, the original recipe comes from Pilar Sánchez.
6 crisp apples, cored but unpeeled
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2-3/4 cup of apple cider
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place apples in a shallow baking dish. Add cider and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until soft, about one hour.
Serve hot, at room temperature or cold. Can be served with yogurt, ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream and topped with toasted nuts or caramel.