Roasting apples, which is basically a
high-temperature baking process with no added liquid, gives them a
wonderful, deepened flavor and a great chewy texture. You can serve
Roasted Apples as a snack or a dessert, with or without a platter
of cheeses. You can also gussy them up with some Balsamic Drizzle
(recipe follows). It's nice to serve something this light and
simple during the holiday season (or any time, for that
This is more a method than it is an
exact recipe. Roast any amount of apples, and use any kind except
red delicious, which are OK for eating but don't cook well. I like
to use tart varieties, because they become sweeter during the
roasting process. The inner moisture evaporates and natural sugars
caramelize and intensify.
NOTE: You can make the
Balsamic Drizzle several days ahead or while the apples roast. You
can also skip it, as the apples are delicious plain as
Apples (any number, and any type but red delicious)
- Preheat the oven to
- Spray a ceramic baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Core the apples, and cut them into fairly large chunks, leaving
the peel on. (If the fruit is peeled, it tends to fall apart.)
- Place the chunks either peel side-down or on their sides in the
baking dish. Spacing is unimportant, since the fruit shrinks as it
roasts. Just make sure the pieces are in a single layer. Put the
dish into the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the
apples are done just the way you like them. This is a very
subjective process .
- When the fruit feels tender to the touch (or a fork slides
easily into the flesh) remove the dish from the oven, and transfer
the apples to a plate or a platter with a rim.
At this point, you can deglaze the pan with a little apple juice
(about 1/4 cup). To deglaze, just add the juice to the dish after
the fruit has been removed, and scrape and swish it around with a
wooden spoon to catch all the glazed fruit tidbits that have stuck
during the roasting process. When you've scraped up all the bits
and stirred it well in the pan, transfer to a small bowl (straining
optional) or pour it directly over the roasted fruit.
Balsamic vinegar, that musty, dark, aged-in-wood variety many of
us have fallen in love with, makes a wonderful syrup when cooked
down to about one-third its original volume. You can drizzle this
amazing stuff over more foods than you'd ever
imagine„everything from roasted vegetables and bean soups to
potato dishes and homemade pizzettas. It's even great on pancakes,
fruit, and frozen desserts, especially fruit sorbets. This might
just be the most versatile one-ingredient sauce ever.
- You don't need to use an expensive brand of vinegar for this
recipe. In fact, the ordinary, more moderately priced supermarket
varieties work the best.
- Store Balsamic Drizzle in a covered container at room
temperature. Theoretically it will keep forever, but undoubtedly
you will use it up sooner than that. If it does sit around, though,
it tends to harden, and that is easily fixed. Simply zap it for
about 15 seconds in a microwave oven, and it will soften up
1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Place the vinegar in a shallow saucepan and heat to boiling.
(You might want to open your kitchen windows„this gives off
- Turn the heat way down, and simmer uncovered for about 30
minutes, or until the vinegar is reduced in volume by about
- Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly, and store indefinitely at