I can tell the season is changing, by the light that is available in my shooting area. It seemed to have changed almost overnight. Once a light-filled area, now I have to rush to take advantage of the good light. Once I realized that life was changing right before my eyes, I began to pay attention the gentle tap, tap, tapping of Fall knocking on our front door and made this recipe for baked apples with creme anglaise.
Then there were the apples. It happened almost overnight. One day their shelves were filled with last of summer berries and stone-fruit, then in a blink, apples, squash, and pears were lining the aisles. I am not complaining as I am eager to start warming the house with the comforts of Fall.
When I see apples I immediately think of Lenny and his love affair with apple pie. I am not a big apple pie eater; but, it gives me pleasure to roll out the crust, tenderly slice the apples and bake a pie for him. I love watching him enjoy each bite, his eyes twinkle and the corners of his mouth turn up. It is nice.
This time my thoughts turned from apple pie to baked apples. Mainly because we did not need a big pie begging us to eat it, every time we walked by. Baked apples are the guilt-free version of a pie; no crust and no scoops of vanilla ice cream. But, you still get the spicy aromas that will fill your house with love.
I used Gala apples for this recipe. We love how they are slightly tart and slightly sweet with each juicy bite. If you get a perfect one, the juices will run down your chin with each bite. And their firm texture held up to baking … perfectly. While the apples baked and made our kitchen cozy, I made a decadent creme anglaise to serve alongside the warm apples. It was perfect; baked gooey apples and vanilla bean-spiked cream.
Do you have a favorite apple recipe? Sweet? Savory?
** Be sure to visit the Food Network Summer Fest bloggers to see what other delicious apples recipes you can make to welcome Fall. Next week will be all about potatoes!
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Jewish Apple Cake
Virtually Homemade: Apple Pie Muffin
Daily*Dishin: Easier-than-Pie Creamy Apple Bake
Made by Michelle: Pear Apple Crisp
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Panini
From My Corner of Saratoga: Spiced Apple Dutch Baby
Thursday Night Dinner: Apple Bread Pudding
Devour: 7 Apple Desserts Beyond Pie
Healthy Eats: Marrying the Apple With New Flavors
FN Dish: Let’s Go Apple Picking
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Baked Apples with Creme Anglaise
2 cups whole milk
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup pecans
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Place a small bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice. Set aside.
Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
In a medium saucepan whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until mixed well. Slowly add some of the hot milk, continue whisking, while adding more milk (a little at a time), until all of the milk is whisked into the yolk mixture.
Place the pan over medium-low heat, continue stirring the entire time with a wooden spoon, until the mixture reaches 170. DO NOT stop stirring or you will have scrambled eggs.
Once the mixture reaches 170 and coats the back of the spoon, pour into the small bowl that is sitting in the larger bowl of ice.
Stir in the vanilla. Let cool for 30 minutes. Remove from the ice bowl and place the mixture into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 425.
Scatter pecans on a cookie sheet.
Slide into oven and lightly toast, about 7 minutes. Shaking the pan every so often, to prevent burning. Remove from the oven, let cool, then gently break into pieces. I use a rolling pin.
Lower heat to 350.
In a mixing bowl combine raisins, pecans, brown sugar, cardamom and stir in the melted butter. Gently stuff each apple with the mixture. Place into a baking dish.
Pour 1/2 cup water around the apples. Bake 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven.
Serving: Place some of the creme anglaise into a serving bowl and place an apple on top.