Well now. For this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Baked apples with fruits and nuts, p 392), I’m going to plead “jetlagged” since I well and truly messed up! It’s weird because I read the recipe over the holidays in Australia and I totally knew what I should have done yet when it came to making this on around about 3 hours’ sleep last weekend when I arrived home, I missed a couple of key steps.
I already knew that I wasn’t going to peel the apples down to the halfway mark like Dorie said to because, well I didn’t think it was so pretty. I loved the rich red of my tiny local apples and I much prefer the look of whole baked apples. But that wasn’t a mistake in itself. The next thing I didn’t do, though, was. Dorie says: “One word of advice: Cut a little circle around the tummy of each apple to keep it from expanding and bursting. I tucked the apples into the oven forgetting that little cut, and one of them popped—not tragic, but not pretty.”
Well now, I am sure you can see I have “not tragic but not pretty” apples up there ^^^ Result of not cutting around the “tummy” of the apple – in part because I didn’t peel the apples halfway down which might have reminded me to make sure to cut around to avoid burst apples. Still, as Dorie says, it’s not a disaster and hey, I’m all about “rustic”.
So once you’ve prepped your apples (properly) and stuffed them with fruits and nuts and honey, you are supposed to put them in a baking dish and pour in a little apple cider. Ahem. For whatever reason, I read this as “apple cider vinegar” and fortunately for me (since I was, you know minifying the recipe because these were tiny apples) I only used a splash. But holy moly, a splash of apple cider vinegar baking in the oven was enough to make the house smell rather, well, vinegary. Mr Neil was not impressed. As they came out of the oven, I realised my mistake (nope, not before!) and quickly poured a whole lot more honey over the apples and removed them from the baking dish, placing them in small ramekins. Since I had ignored the part of the recipe where it says to baste the apples with the liquid (thank goodness!) it pretty much saved them from having to be binned immediately.
And how did they taste? Well there was DEFINITELY a vague vinegary taste but the apples were very sweet and the extra honey helped. Basically it tasted like apple sauce with nuts and fruit and honey (with an odd “kick”).
Fortunately for everyone, I already made next week’s recipe when I was in Australia so there will be no messing up. And in two weeks’ time I will hopefully be well over my jetlag so won’t be messing up the moules marinière…
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