I love baked apples but don’t cook desserts often. Mostly I do fresh fruit for dessert, or some nuts, or wonderful cheeses. Then I stumbled across Mele Cotte and her baked apples way back in January, and that inspired me to warm a cool spring night by turning on the oven and concocting an apple dessert.
You know by now that I love spices, so of course I added some.
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 my cumquat marmalade.
I have baked apples over the years quite a bit. I took Mele Cotte’s recipe and added my own touches to produce a lovely dessert.
It is difficult to remove the core if you don’t have an apple corer, so try to invest in one. It is a little gadget that removes the cores easily and leaves a nice round whole in the middle of the apple.
Think cream, sour cream, mascapone cheese, icecream.
Star Anise Baked Apples
Source : inspired by Mele Cotte’s post
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.
Thanks Mele Cotte. I would not have made this without you.