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2000s Recipes + Menus

Cider-Poached Apples with Candied Walnuts, Rum Cream, and Cider Syrup

Serves6
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:2 1/2 hr (includes cooling)
November 2008
We had to forgo apple pie for this quick menu, but this deconstructed take is just as satisfying and very sophisticated. Learn the story behind the rest of this feast in our series The Recipe.

For apples

  • 6 medium Gala apples (about 3 lb), cored from bottom, leaving stems on
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

For candied walnuts

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (4 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

For cream

  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Accompaniment:

    2 tablespoons bottled boiled cider

Poach apples:

  • Peel top third of each apple and rub peeled part with lemon half. Put apples in a wide 5-quart heavy pot and add cider and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, covered, over medium heat (this will take 25 to 30 minutes). Remove from heat and cool apples in cider, covered, about 1 hour.

Make candied walnuts:

  • Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.
  • Stir together all ingredients with a pinch of salt, then spread on a small baking sheet into a 10-inch round. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a rack and loosen nuts, then cool (nuts will crisp as they cool).

Whip cream and assemble dessert:

  • Beat cream with sugar, rum, and vanilla using an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks.
  • Drain apples, reserving poaching liquid for another use. Put an apple on each plate and sprinkle with candied walnuts. Dollop cream next to each apple and drizzle (bottled) boiled cider all over.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Apples can be poached 2 days ahead and chilled. Before serving, bring to room temperature.
  • Candied walnuts can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.
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