I can tell the seasons are beginning to change by the light that is available in the area of the house I like to shoot in. It seemed to happen overnight. I usually have all day to shoot but now my time is limited. Though I do love the late afternoon of Fall as it has this beautiful golden color that floods my office. Once I realized that life was changing literally before my eyes, I began to pay attention to the gentle tap, tap, tapping of Fall knocking on our front door, and made this recipe for baked apples with creme Anglaise.
Besides light being my sign that the season is changing, suddenly the baskets at the farmer’s market were filled to the brim with apples. It was quick as one Sunday the stalls were filled with the last of summer berries and stone-fruit, then in a blink of an eye apples, squash, and pears were making their appearance. 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 and it is one of the rare times when sweets are around that he does not complain about it.
This time my thoughts turned from apple pie to baked apples. We did not need a big apple pie begging us to eat it, every time we walked by. Baked apples are the guilt-free version of a pie in my opinion. No crust and no scoops of vanilla ice cream. Instead, I still get to enjoy the spicy aromas that fill the house with love.
I used honey crisp apples for this recipe. I love how they are slightly sweet with each juicy bite and they still hold up to baking. While the apples baked and made the 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 to welcome Fall. I hope you welcome the changing of the seasons by enjoying this recipe for Baked Apples with Creme Anglaise too.
Baked Apples with Creme Anglaise
** serves 4
1 cups whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/8 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract
4 baking apples, I like honey crisp
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
zest of one small lemon
2 tablespoons butter, very soft
Preheat oven to 350.
Core apples – removing a little extra flesh to make room for the filling.
In a mixing bowl combine raisins, brown sugar, lemon zest, and cardamom, then mix in the soft butter using the back of a form.
Lightly butter a baking dish with a little butter.
Gently stuff each apple with the mixture. Place into a baking dish.
Pour 1/3 cup water around the apples. Bake 30 – 45 minutes until fork tender but not mushy.
Remove from the oven.
Cream Anglaise – make while the apples bake
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.
Place an apple in a dessert dish and drizzle with Cream Anglaise.