November 2, 2013

Apple Gratin


Apple Gratin, Baked Apple

Apple Gratin, Baked Apple

This apple gratin is so-called because it has lots of thin layers of perfect fall apple, not because it has cheesy richness associated with the best known gratin, potato. I know some people like cheese and apples together but I am not one of them. It's my only food-fussy. I don't mix sweet and savory - very contrary to current trends that put raisins in tapenade and honey on pork (seriously, does that really sound good to anyone?). There are a few bits I enjoy - some Vietnamese dishes come to mind, but for the most part when I see fruit in the salad or brown sugar on the salmon, I pass. Every once in awhile I'll have a taste, just to make sure my taste buds haven't changed their mind (as I would instruct my preschool kids to do) but nope, they haven't. 

This simple pleasure is naturally sweet and casually elegant. Healthy too (the ice cream is optional). You'll need two ramekins which, if you don't have, are great little dishes to have around for dips, snacks and mise-en-place. Dips and snacks and mise-en-place, Oh My!

Apple Gratin 

Serves 2

2 firm apples (I used Honeycrisp because they are the pride of MN and everywhere this time of year)
Pat of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar*

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Peel, core and slice apples very thinly (1/8" I used my mandoline and it was scary, as usual). 

2. Rub inside of two 3-inch ramekins with butter until covered, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and tap around to coat. 

3. Layer in apples, overlapping and pressing down so they're touch every side of the dish and are packed in (they shrink during cooking). Cover with foil and place on a sheet pan.

4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until tender (a paring knife should slide in easily). Let cool for 15 minutes and invert onto a plate. Top with ice cream or yogurt, if desired.

* mix 4 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon


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