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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Sauterne Baked Apples

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Sometimes all you want, especially after all the holiday sweets, is a simple baked apple. Here is a lovely French way to make baked apples.

6 pitted prunes
1 cup Sauterne
6 Macintosh or Rome apples
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 cup apricot preserves
lemon juice
2 tablespoons cognac

Preheat oven to 350. Soak prunes in the Sauterne for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the wine. Peel and core the apples — be careful not to go all the way through the bottom. Sprinkle the apples immediately with lemon juice to stop them from going brown. Butter a large ovenproof dish. Place the apples in the dish. Put one juicy prune inside each apple. Top with a little piece of butter and then add some sugar. Pour the saved Sauterne around the apples and add the cinnamon stick and cover the pan. Bake apples for 40 minutes, basting with the pan juice every 10 minutes. Be careful to cook them only to tender as they might blowup and fall apart.

Discard the cinnamon stick and put apples on serving platter. Place the pan on the stove and reduce the juices. Add the apricot jam and cognac and cook till the preserves dissolve and the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust at this point, you might want to add a little lemon juice. Pour sauce over apples. Might want to serve with a little whipped cream!