Thursday, October 4, 2012
Baked Apples with Pine Nuts, Juniper Berries, and Orange
It is surprising to me that apples in this day and age still have cores. I mean, watermelons and grapes are now seedless. Apples are wondering when their day is coming. Okay, I'm wondering that. I'd also advocate for pit-free cherries.
I thought it would be all meditative and soothing to be coring apples (and I only did 4!). Looking back, I have no idea why I thought that would be the case. At all. For one thing, I am completely incapable of having those kinds of attributes. Instead, I lean towards "anxious" and "stressed." I feel like that is something I need to work on, but that just makes me more anxious. So it is what it is. And yes, I've tried the whole yoga thing.
Secondly, maybe the 90 degree weather also played a part in making things not so fun. Okay, probably a large part of it. In addition to being the anxious type, I am also stubborn and delusional - stubborn in that, since September 1, I have declared it to be Autumn here... and delusional since "here" is Southern California. It has been like 90 here the past few days. And it is October. I'm confused by this. But because it is Autumn, I must do Autumn things. Even if the weather doesn't cooperate. And perhaps I should consider one of those apple corer gadgets. But despite the annoyance of taking out the cores and the overbearing heat, I loved every bite of these. Completely and utterly worth the hassle.
4 granny smith apples, cored
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon crushed juniper berries
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons orange juice
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup water
vanilla whipped cream, for serving
Heat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, juniper berries, melted butter, salt, pine nuts, all spice, orange juice, and orange zest. Fill the apples with brown sugar mixture. In a small bowl, mix brandy and water, and any remaining brown sugar mixture. Place the stuffed apples in ovenproof dish, then pour the brandy mixture on the bottom. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the apples are tender but hold their shape. Serve with vanilla whipped cream.