The scene in Listen to the Moon where John and Sukey agree to get married opens with John making baked apples…
John had sliced a hot baked apple for his landlady’s dessert and carried it upstairs. As he sat to take a fork to his own, his back to the warm bricks below the little baking oven in the hearth wall, someone knocked timidly at the door.
Sighing, he set his plate down and went to the door. “How can I assist—Miss Grimes?”
She frowned up at him, hands tucked into her armpits.
“Come.” He opened the door wider and stood back.
She hesitated before stepping into the light. Her whole face was tense and suspicious, jaw set, brows drawn as far together as they would go. She chewed at the corner of her pursed mouth.
Where was her pelisse? Were those slippers poking out from under her arm?
“Are you angry with me?” He tried to think of what he might have done to make her glare like that. He tried not to want to kiss her until she stopped.
Her frown deepened. “Of course not. Why would I be?”
Because I asked you to marry me. “What is the matter, Miss Grimes? You oughtn’t to go out in such weather without your coat.”
And so, to celebrate Listen to the Moon‘s rerelease, I wanted to share with you this recipe for the best baked apples you will ever eat in your life. These things are addictive.
The recipe was created by a coworker of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous but was kind enough to both share his recipe with me, and then to give me permission to share it with you. (It was designed for a commercial kitchen, and I modified it for home use, so any mistakes are definitely mine.)
- 1/2c. butter (1 stick)
- 14T brown sugar (a scant cup)
- 3/4T cinnamon
- 1/2T ground allspice
- 1/2t ground cloves
- zest of half an orange, minced
- 1/8lb. currants (or a generous handful)
- 3/4c. pecan pieces, toasted
- ~6 apples (YMMV depending on apple size and how you core them)
- apple juice
DirectionsPuree butter, sugar, and spices in a food processor. Mix in the zest, currants, and pecans by hand.
Use Braeburn, Fuji, Pippin, or Jonogold apples. Core apples (leaving some flesh at the bottom to hold the filling!) and stuff with the mixture.
Place them in a baking dish with 1/4″ of apple juice in the bottom. Bake at 325F high fan until just before the apples split. (I don’t have a convection oven, so I upped the temperature to the 350-375 range and the results were still delicious.) Remove apples with tongs.
Pour the pan juices into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reduce to a medium caramel. Add a pinch more cinnamon, allspice, and clove. (Full disclosure: I just drink the juice once it cools a little because I’m LAZY. Add some rum and you’ve got a cocktail! But I’ve had the sauce and it’s awesome.)
Pour caramelized sauce over apples and garnish with long strands of orange zest.
Serve hot or cold.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
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