ffwd: long and slow apples

Long and Slow Apples

It’s been a while since we last made a dessert for French Fridays with Dorie. This week’s recipe sounded intriguing based on its name alone. Fortunately, it wasn’t as long or slow in execution as the name implied.

Long and Slow Apples are thinly sliced apples layered into ramekins with butter, spiced sugar, and orange zest sandwiched in between, then baked in a slow oven for a couple of hours. The apples caramelize and tenderize and shrink down to an apple patty just big enough to provide a little sweetness at the end of the meal.

This recipe provided an opportunity to pull out my seldom-used Benringer to slice those apples extra thinly. The apple curves fit into the ramekin perfectly, about two or three to a layer. I also got to use my favorite measuring spoons for those tiny units of Dash, Pinch, and Smidgen!

Dash, Smidgen, and Pinch

I was home alone this week as my husband was spending his week on the warmer West Coast. He isn’t a big fan of fruit desserts anyway, so I halved the recipe. I used two apples, expecting to fill two ramekins, though I filled two to the top and another about two-thirds full. I wasn’t sure whether I should have made added more to the two instead of moving on to another ramekin. Given the shrinkage, maybe I should have. I don’t know.

Apples in Ramekins

I had my doubts about the next step: wrapping the filled cups with plastic wrap before also wrapping with foil. These were going into the oven after all… Dorie said to trust her, the plastic would not melt. I was very skeptical, but miraculously, she was right. I gather that other Doristas didn’t have the same result and their plastic melted. Others didn’t trust Dorie and used parchment or buttered foil, which is what I’ll do next time. Seems safer.

Wrapped Apple Ramekins

The wrapped cups are lightly weighted down by another ramekin and baked in a slow oven. The house smelled amazing as the apples baked. The combination of apples, which always smell good, and citrus, which also always smells good, made the kitchen smell like home. When they were ready, I couldn’t wait to dig in and try one. I was surprised how much the apples shrank.

Shrunken Apples

I unmolded the apples onto a plate and, because I’m not one for whipped cream, I dolloped it with Greek yogurt instead, garnishing with some slivered crystallized ginger.

I have mixed feelings about these apples. I was too heavy-handed with the orange zest. As I said, the aroma was enticing, but the orange flavor overpowered the apples. The orange zest in the recipe is optional, so I will try again without, or with less.

I did like the texture. The apple slices kept their shape and were perfectly tender. This recipe used sugar spiced with dried ginger and coriander. I’d like to play around with other spices as well. Even though butter and sugar are involved, this dessert is relatively healthy as not much of either is used, just enough to boost the natural flavor of the fruit.

I will try this again some time, though maybe not right away.

If you’d like to try it yourself, the recipe can be found here. If you want to read about other Doristas’ long and slow apples, follow their links here.

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Posted on 11 January 2013, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Your finished apples look delectable!! I actually enjoyed the orange flavor…but I was light handed on adding it! Have a wonderful weekend, Betsy!

  2. Your plate looks perfect, this was a tasty dessert! I have those same spoons, and I think I used them once, and they seemed so necessary to buy them at the time! Have a great weekend Betsy!

  3. How cute. I have those measuring spoons too, though didn’t think of taking them out. This certainly looks prettier turned out onto a plate. This was kind of yummy, but I don’t know if it was worth all of the effort. Yours is awfully cute!

  4. Great Job! I love your presentation and the use of Greek Yogurt and ginger.

  5. I love your ginger garnish! I think I’d like these even better without the zest, too…cinnamon would be my choice of a sub :)

  6. Mine shrank like that as well. But tasty with the spices and oranges. Definitely a repeat.. Good idea to use the yogurt.

  7. How gorgeous did your apples turn out! Great job!

  8. Your apples turned out wonderful! I love your presentation.
    (My book doesn’t mention plastic wrap, it says to use baking paper and cook for 4 hours. I wonder if I have different version?)

  9. What I ike about these apples (the ones where the plastic didn’t melt) is how open to interpretation they are – you could add all sorts of different spices to these to taste. And yes, Greek yoghurt is perfect on these!

  10. After reading your post yesterday I made sure to use a light hand with the orange zest and mine turned out great so thank you! Good call with the ginger garnish – yum!

  11. I skipped the orange zest and totally wish I had stacked mine higher like some other did (didn’t expect so much shrinkage).
    Dash, pinch and smidgen sound like great names for a trio of kittens :-)

  12. Loved this sentence, Betsy: ” I also got to use my favorite measuring spoons for those tiny units of Dash, Pinch, and Smidgen!” I may just plagerize that sometime. (Not really.) It is cold on the West Coast right now so I hope your husband took more than shorts and a bathing suit for his week-end trip. Although, I believe our weather in comparison to yours, is heavenly. Your apples look wonderfully tasty. I mixed sugar, cinnamon and a little orange zest all together. You are not the first Dorista that said that the orange zest was overwhelming. Still, I enjoyed the experience of making this dessert. Now on to the chicken livers which I am anticipating with delight, my friend.

  13. I bet the ginger on top was great! :)

  14. Nice idea to use Greek yogurt on these. My Dad bought a set of those measuring spoons and my nieces love using them.

  15. Your apples look beautiful, Betsy. I felt the same way. The aroma while they were baking was wonderful, but I just didn’t like tasting all that orange. I wanted apple! :) I have not seen measuring spoons like those – how cute.

  16. I am playing catch up and commenting on this and your lovely spaetzle :) On that one I was chuckling along with your description of being a pack rat and having the spaetzle maker for so long. When I got out of college 20 + years ago I took a part time job at Williams Sonoma in the evenings while I did the accounting gig by day. I bought things I had no idea how to use. Charlotte molds, Madeleine pans, etc. I love it all and honestly it still feels like Christmas when I go down to the basement to find something I haven’t used in years…or ever :) I will, however, be hitting Nana up for her spaetzle maker when I play catch up on that recipe. The apples were another story. I had the melted plastic incident and was probably also just grumpy from the flu when I knocked this one out. I still think I would have like the whole shebang if crust had been involved but that is just the healthy appetite returning. Sorry to miss you when my son FINALLY headed back to Boston U. My hubby ended up taking him as I was just not up for the trip as this flu really knocked me for a loop. Thanks for your kind messages while I dealt with it. Stay healthy !!!

  17. I like that you topped them with yogurt and ginger. How interesting! Next time I will have try them this way!

  18. Betsy, sorry, that I am running late with coments from last week! Your apples look just wonderful, they have a nice warm color! Wasn´t this a great recipe?! It sounds like your additions of crystallized ginger and some greek yougurt were quite delicious, ginger is certainly always nice together with apples and yogurt is a good change to the usual topping of whipped cream.

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