These caramelized apples are meant to be slightly sweet, not overpowering and sugary, so they’re versatile in nature. Spicy-tart and thoroughly warming, these apples are a fabulous addition to crepes or homemade ice cream. They’re equally at home as an unexpected garnish for mildly spicy grilled chicken or a tropical menu from Martinique.
Cook’s note: For a delicious “cheater” dessert, fill a store-bought tart shell with these apples. With the homemade goodness of the apples and apple cider reduction sauce, nobody will guess your secret!
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 spicy-sweet, crisp apples (Jonagold, Crispin, Honeycrisp), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, as needed
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Sauté the apples, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes, until they just start to turn tender.
Sprinkle the apples with the remaining sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Toss the mixture gently and cook over medium heat for an additional 2 minutes, until the sugar begins to caramelize and the apples are crisp-tender.
Transfer the apples from the skillet to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon. Turn the heat to high and add the apple cider to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce the heat slightly and allow the cider and the pan juices to simmer for 1-3 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. If you desire a thicker sauce, dissolve the cornstarch in a teaspoon of water, stir it into the sauce, and allow it to thicken for a moment. Pour the finished sauce over the warm apples and serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.