Last Wednesday, I loaded up my
Lamborghini Veneno Toyota Corolla with pots, pans, a food processor, and numerous ingredients, and then drove for 90 minutes to the beautiful Adironack region of New York State. The occasion? A cooking class for the Lake George Garden Club!
The menu was as colorful as the autumn foliage that flanked I-87. First, we made Chive Pesto, using the chives I’d snipped from my garden earlier that morning. Then I turned some roasted root veggies into a main-course pizza blanco. And for dessert, we transformed oven-baked apple slices into Apples in Jack Daniels Custard.
Baked apple slices are noble things. They taste like apple pie, minus the crust. You can toss them over oatmeal for breakfast, or bury them beneath ice cream, sour cream, or whipped cream for dessert. Alternatively, you can fold them into puff pastry for Apple Turnovers, or roll them into crepes for Caramel Apple Roulades.
When you have baked apple slices in the fridge, all kinds of tempting treats are possible. I make ’em this way:
Mix some cinnamon and sugar in a big bowl…
And add the zest of one lemon. I hope you have a micro zester.
Using your impeccably clean fingers, rub the sugar and lemon zest together until fragrant.
Then take 8-10 apples (5 lbs total)…
And peel ’em…
And cut ’em into quarters.
Then cut each quarter into thirds.
Now grab a polka-dotted spatula, and use it to toss the apple slices and cinnamon-sugar together.
Then stir in the juice of half the (previously-zested) lemon…
And finish with 6 tablespoons of melted butter.
Warning! The apples will be buttery, lemony, and cinnamon-sweet at this point. Try not to eat all of them.
Tip the works into a baking dish…
And bake for 40-50 minutes, basting the apples with their own juices every 10 minutes or so. A bulb-baster will do the trick. Just tilt the pan, suck up the juices, and redistribute them over all.
You’ll know the apples are done when you can easily pierce them with a fork. Just don’t over-cook them. We want apple slices, not apple sauce.
If the juices haven’t evaporated into a thick syrup during cooking, just tip them into a small saucepan, and boil them rapidly until thick and syrupy. Then pour the syrup over the apples.
And that’s it! You can serve the apples just as they are. Or, let them cool to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
One week? Ha-ha-ha. As my sous chef, Mr. Bill, will gladly tell you, Baked Apple Slices are so delicious and versatile that you’ll use them up in no time at all. In fact, you’ll probably wish that you’d quadrupled the batch.
Gonna give this easy recipe a try? You can let me know by leaving a comment. Meanwhile, here’s the printable:
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