Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baked Apple Rings with Caramel Sauce

When I think of fall, I instantly think of the smell of apples in the air, of apple picking, bobbing for apples as a child, and of apple cider.  This recipe makes delicious use of fresh apples in an apple cider-spiked batter - what could be more autumnal than that?

  • 4 Golden Delicious apples
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegan sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup caramel sundae syrup (such as Fun Fresh Foods)
  • Vegan powdered sugar (optional for garnish)
1. Peel and core the apples, and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Use the 8 largest slices from the middle of the apples for this recipe, and reserve the remaining apple for another use.  (One idea is to stir fresh apple pieces into a bowl of hearty oatmeal for breakfast - fresh apple is a vast improvement over freeze-dried apple in instant oatmeal).

Note: if you don't have an apple corer, I recommend buying one.  Perhaps one of the simplest kitchen gadgets out there, this low-tech item does wonders for creating perfect apple rings.

2. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.  Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl.  Add the apple cider and Ener-G eggs and stir to combine; the batter will be thick.

3. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Dip 4 of the apple slices in the batter and add to the pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.  Transfer to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Coat the remaining 4 apple slices in the batter and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to the baking sheet.

4. Lightly coat the apple slices with cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes - the edges should be nicely crisp.

5.  Drizzle each of 4 dessert plates with 1 tablespoon caramel syrup, and place 2 apple slices on each plate.  I think a dusting of powdered sugar makes a lovely garnish, but you could also serve this dessert without it.  Either way, the apples will be at their best served immediately.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (2 apple slices, 1 tablespoon caramel syrup), Calories 205 

Tasting Notes:
This was a great twist on the classic caramel-apple duo.  It was much like eating a crepe inside-out: a thick piece of apple coated in a light, thin, crepe-like batter, as opposed to a crepe stuffed with apples.  The caramel syrup was of course scrumptious in combination with the soft baked apple.  The apple cider wasn't detectable enough in the batter - my only complaint.  Unfortunately I'm not sure how to resolve the issue, since increasing the amount of apple cider would ruin the consistency of the batter.  Next time, I'd make an apple cider reduction glaze to drizzle over the apple rings just before serving.


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