11 February 2014

Baked Apples with Calvados for Two


I love apples.

I always have them on hand, and was delighted last fall to receive a huge bag of organic apples, which quickly became applesauce and apple crisp.

I love apples so much, I signed up to receive e-mails from the U.S. Apple Association, which reminded me recently that eating apples is a good way to celebrate Heart Month, which is February.

You know, the old adage so I won't repeat it.

At my house, apple-anything is the favorite dessert. Apple crisp on its own or combined with some other seasonal fruit (apples, of course, are always in season) is on the menu almost constantly.

This is another favorite:

Baked Apples with Calvados
  • two baking apples (Northern Spy, Golden Delicious or Rome Beauty)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • juice and zest from orange or lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup Calvados or apple brandy
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

Preheat oven to 400. Peel and core the apples. Stuff the centers with walnuts and butter. Place in buttered baking pan and set aside.

Blend the other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the apples. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft (but not mushy). Baste periodically while apples are baking; you really need to check them for doneness anyway, since oven vary.

Serve warm, spooning the thickened juice from the bottom of the baking dish over the apples. Ice cream or yoghurt are great toppings. I also like a hunk of cheddar with mine, to offset the sweetness.

The spices were perfect in concert with the brandy, giving the apples a complex, almost mysterious taste.

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24 comments:

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Calvados must be some type of apple liquor? This sounds yummy, and not at all out of season here in Michigan, as we are one of the biggest apple producers in the country! Cheap and delicious! You sure can clean out a fridge!!!

Mimi said...

Hey Cyn, I have a hard time finding Calvados this far north! So I usually use apple brandy.

I intend to bring a bottle home from France, if I can.

Mary said...

Mimi,
This looks great. I think walnuts sound better with apples than pistachios. Definitely bring calvados home from France, it's so much cheaper there. Poire William is also a good idea. I use it in making pear sorbet (and for sipping, it's one of my favorites). Thanks for your entry.

Mary
www.ceresandbacchus.com

Mimi said...

Mary, we are packing ample bubble wrap and bringing an extra suitcase - LOL. Oh, the goodies I can bring home...

~Nan said...

Autumn and the recipes that go with it are like nectar to the gods for me. LOL This sounds like a must try!

Mimi said...

I feel the same way, Nan. The flavors of fall really resonate with me (and my palate). Why wait 'til October?

veuveclicquot said...

yum. i love baked apples, but never got around to making them. I agree with Mary - walnuts definitely sound better than pistachios!

Gosh, I'm so envious that you're headed to 'the home country'. You'll have such a blast! ;)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love baking with apples, Mimi. It's amazing the transformation they suffer (can I say that?) in the oven.

It looks delicious!

Mimi said...

VC, I've been counting the days so long, everyone thinks I should have gone already. So hard to work around a semester, ya know?

Oh, Patricia, I hate to think of apples suffering!

Toni said...

I love the sound of this! I baked some apples a few months ago using some orange liqueur. I do love Calvados, though I haven't had any in quite a while. We used to drink it in New Mexico in the winter.

Mimi said...

Toni, welcome back!

My husband and I are used to eating our baked apples with just cinnamon and brown sugar and walnuts, so this was differnent but very good.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Calvados, Yes! I discovered this a few years ago and have been in love ever since.
Beautiful apples.
So, how close is the fridge to empty...how many days to departure...how exciting...

Mimi said...

Well, Tanna, there is our vast supply of mustards and olives still there, and a few other necessities. Three weeks now!

Lydia said...

Pretty snazzy for leftovers, Mimi! I love this.

Christine said...

Snazzy leftovers indeed, Mimi! Don't you just love the rhythm of pulling things out of fridge and pantry, adding a bit of this, a bit of that, with the end result being a fabulous baked apple? Just lovely!

Mimi said...

Thanks, Lydia and Christine, I guess they were kind of snazzy at that. I thought I was weird because I prefer this kind of cooking to following some new recipe to the T.

It seems more creative to me, letting your ingredients drive your meals. . .

Terry B said...

Mimi--The weird weather certainly does inspire autumnlike dishes, doesn't it? I'm actually contemplating a pot of chili tonight, but trying hard to avoid the temptation and go more springlike, out of sheer stubbornness.

Mimi said...

TerryB, it's freezing here today and that defintely changes my appetite.

Callipygia said...

I've never heard of jazz apples- is that why they look like they're playing mini saxaphones? Sorry, I know that was kind of wacky! This looks delicious.

Mimi said...

LOL, I think they are from New Zealand. . . at least they were when I first found them two years ago...

Kristen said...

I think you can eat this kind of dish all year round..especially with this crazy weather we are having. Monday we were sweating in shorts, today we are bundled up in jeans and sweaters. Crazy.
This looks like comfort food to the max!

Mimi said...

Definitely comfort food, Kristen.

We've been having the same weather. It was actually HOT about a month ago, then it cooled down considerably.

But, the lilies of the valley and daylilies are coming up. I wish we would have lilies of the valley for May Day...

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Always lovely to see a post from you!

Mimi Johns said...

Thanks, Lydia, I am working hard to bring this blog back to life. This was an old post, but worth revisiting.