There is nothing like a cool evening from Autumn to Spring to inspire you to turn on the oven and bake an apple dessert. Or bake pears the same way (see here).
Apples partner with spices very well. Try some of these.
- Cloves, because cloves and apples are a wonderful warming marriage.
- Star anise as it adds a surprising note.
- Black pepper because it is under utilised as a flavour item in small quantities. It is great in a number of dishes if you use it sparingly. Add it here to add a little zing without being peppery.
Use any marmalade that you have. If you want something special, try this cumquat marmalade.
It is difficult to remove the apple core if you don’t have an apple corer. It is a little gadget that removes the cores easily and leaves a nice round hole in the middle of the apple.
Think cream, sour cream, mascapone cheese, icecream, custard.
Star Anise Baked Apples
Source : traditional
Prep time: 10 mins + 30 minutes to soak the sultanas
Cooking time: 30 – 40 mins
Serves: 1 apple per person
for 4 apples use:
1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
1/3 cup sweet white wine, orange juice or sweetened jasmine tea
1.5 Tblspns marmalade
a small knob butter for each apple
a little sugar
grated lemon rind from 0.5 lemon
few black peppercorns
4 star anise
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Soak the raisins or sultanas in the wine, juice or tea for at least 30 minutes.
When the oven is at temperature, core the apples with an apple corer. Make a slit around the middle of the apple with a sharp knife, just cutting through the skin. This prevents the apple from bursting through the skin while cooking.
Put the apples into an oven proof dish. Push the raisins or sultanas into the core holes, with a little sugar sprinkled over them half way through.
Top each apple with a knob of butter, a little marmalade and a star anise.
Pour the liquid from soaking the sultanas or raisins into the bottom of the dish, add water if you need to raise the level of the liquid to cover the bottom of the dish, and add the lemon rind, cloves and peppercorns.
Sprinkle the sugar over the apples and into the liquid in the dish. The amount that you use will depend on the sweetness of the soaking liquid that you used. I only use a little sugar – you might like your desserts sweeter.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes in the oven. Serve with cream, icecream or mascapone.