Sizzling baked apples filled with sweet goodies is a comfort dessert for cold days. They are like a warm hug!
Everywhere I go there’s the scent of Christmas. And I must admit I LOVE IT! I’m that geek that’s seting up the tree as soon as December starts. But this year I’m protesting. Why? I went to a drug store in September and it was already decorated and selling every bling bling available. I was annoyed. To me it ruins the magic by the time the real holiday time comes.
So I decided – no Christmas tree or decorations until the middle of December. Of course I’m tempted, so I make up with the delightfully scented food. And today I’m making hot baked apples with vanilla sauce. A great recipe for a Christmas dinner dessert. You can prepare everything in advance. Cook the sauce a day in advance and refrigerate it. Same with the apples. Stuff them and they’ll wait in the fridge. Pop them in the oven when you start your dinner and they’ll be ready by the time you finish.
I was preparing this kind of sauce for the first time. I really belived vanilla would give baked apples a new dimension. And it does. It was worth all the fuss. Of course I had to do it a few times. First I overheated it and it became an unpleasing broth of hard boiled yolk and milk. Then it was to runny. But then I got the ratio just right. And trust me, it is not that difficult, as long as you are patient, really cook it over low heat and whisk all the time. Good thing is you can use it in so many ways. I love it on top of roasted bananas for breakfast!
HOT BAKED APPLES WITH VANILLA SAUCE
- 8 medium-size apples
- 1 1/2 cup sultanas ~200g
- 4 TBSP ginger jam
- 4 TBSP chopped almonds
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground star anise
- 4 tsp cocoa butter
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla seeds
- 3 yolks
- 3 TBSP honey
- 1 TBSP corn or potato starch
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
For the filling combine sultanas, ginger jam, almonds, cinnamon, and star anise.
Carve a 3- 4 cm hole in the apples and fill the holes with the filling. Place the apples in a baking tray and add 1/2 tsp cocoa butter onto each apple. Add water to the tray.
Place the tray in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Poke the apples with a knife to check if it is done. If it slides in with no resistance it is baked.
Meanwhile pour milk in a small pot. Add vanilla and cook over medium heat until it is hot, but not boiling.
In a bowl beat eggs, honey, and starch until the mixture is thick and fluffy.
Gradually add milk into the egg mixture. Then pour it back to the pan and cook over low heat (very important!). Whisk constantly until the sauce has thickened. This will take about 7 -8 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour it in a cold bowl and cover, so it doesn’t form a crust.
When the apples are done, take them from the tray and onto the plates. Serve hot with vanilla sauce on the side.