Help me spoil my little apple monster
January 16, 2008 11:20 AM   Subscribe

This year when I host the Swan family's Easter celebration as I always do, I'd like to serve an apple-based dessert for the sake of one of my nieces, who LOVES anything apple. She doesn't seem to much like cake of any kind. She does love apple pie and apple crumble/crisp, but they seem too ordinary. What recipes do you have for a *special* apple-based dessert?
posted by orange swan to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Apple clafouti (like a giant pancake full of apples, recipes easily googled) with some sort of topping (caramel sauce, creme anglaise, ice cream)?
posted by clavicle at 11:23 AM on January 16, 2008

mdonley posted an apple crisp recipe at MetaChat that is to DIE for. It's orgasmic. I think it could be really special if it were served in individual little tartlets, with some home made whipped cream or hard sauce on the side. It's ridiculously OMG dessert. Serve it soon after baking - the crispness of the crisp is best the first few hours after it's made.
posted by iconomy at 11:26 AM on January 16, 2008 [6 favorites]

Tarte Tatin? It couldn't be easier.

Here's a version using frozen puff pastry, but it's so much better if you make your own pastry dough.

Top with vanilla ice cream or whip up some cream with a little maple syrup and vanilla.
posted by dersins at 11:29 AM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

How bout a poached apple custard, or something with a whole apple baked.
posted by mattbucher at 11:31 AM on January 16, 2008

Apple dumplings.
posted by bfranklin at 11:31 AM on January 16, 2008

Caramel apple trifle? Of course, it does have cake in it, but it's not very cake-like.
posted by Evangeline at 11:33 AM on January 16, 2008

I've made this cake a gazillion times and without fail it's the most popular with just about everybody, apple lovers or not. I know it's not really a pudding but I'll often serve a thick slice of it with custard and pretend. No complaints yet :-)

One large or two medium eating apples (red skinned variety are best I think)
5oz (150g) caster sugar
5oz (150g) butter or margarine
8oz (250g) plain flour
1tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
Approx 5 tablespoons of milk (skim or semi-skim)
Pinch salt
Brown/demerera/caster sugar (or better yet a mixture of both) to sprinkle on top of cake

1. Turn the oven to 180C/350F or gas mark 4
2. Prepare a loaf-shaped cake tin by buttering the sides, then sprinkling flour to avoid sticking, or simply place a cake paper into the tin.
3. Peel and core the apples, dice two-thirds quite small and slice the remaining apple thinly.
4. Cream together the sugar and butter/margarine until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in the eggs one by one until well mixed.
6. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the mix and fold, adding enough milk to give it a dropping consistency.
7. Fold in the diced apples.
8. Spoon into the tin, decorate with the apple slices, then sprinkle a very generous amount of sugar on top. I cover the whole loaf with a thick layer of sugar. Sinful? Yep. But worth it :-)
9. Bake for at least an hour, or until the cake is golden and firm to the touch.
(To test that it's cooked, insert a skewer into the centre of cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If it's slightly sticky, cook a little more.)

On the rare occasions that there is any left after baking day it's best to slice the remainder and freeze it, it's great defrosted in the microwave.

Use a smaller apple and add fresh raspberries or diced banana/your favourite fruit.
posted by ceri richard at 11:35 AM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Oh joy! I get to recommend the awesome, visually beautiful, and really special Bird's Nest Pudding.

When I was teaching years ago, we did a whole long unit on apples. We were also reading Laura Ingalls' Farmer Boy, and he mentioned this as a special treat. So we had to look it up and make it. Delicious, scrumptious, rich. Basically, you stuff cored apples with nutmeg and brown sugar, bake them whole in a custardlike crust, and serve with a creamy sauce.

The recipe has been around for at least a few hundred years and there are many variations. I can't recall where I found my recipe. There are lots online, and you might have fun comparing - some include raisins/walnuts/oats in the stuffing, some are differently spiced. Here is one basic recipe. Here's another, with a photo showing you how rustically nifty it looks.
posted by Miko at 11:41 AM on January 16, 2008 [5 favorites]

a dash of calvados (apple brandy) in the cream before you whip it isn't going to hurt her no matter how young she is. also seconding the tarte tatin. depending on how much your niece loves apples, you might browse online nurseries (like; i've bought fruit trees there) for unusual and much tastier apple cultivars than what you see in supermarkets, plant a couple and enjoy a different and better apple experience in 2-3 years.
posted by bruce at 11:43 AM on January 16, 2008

Baked apples stuffed with nuts, raisins (really any dried fruit) You can make the stuffing with a little butter plus sweetenr-- honey, dark brown suger or caramel topping,-- standard "Christmas" spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice), about 1 pat of butter, 1 T of sweetener per apple (you can play with the amount of sweetener, depending on taste)

Hollow-out tart apples (do not peel) so that you have a little bowl-- just take out the core. Pack it with the butter/fruit mixture, and bake in a shallow roasting dish at 325 until the apple is soft. (A knife inserts easily). My sister in law bakes it in a little water, but I think that makes the apples mushy. You can also blanche the dried fruit in just about any liquer or rum, but maybe not for a kid (oh well).

Really pack them-- remember the butter will melt, so you want lots of dried fruit left behind.

Serve hot with clotted cream, whipped cream, cream cheese (or a whipped sweet cream cheese) or ice cream.

Also works with pears.

Yum. Now I want some.
posted by nax at 12:16 PM on January 16, 2008

Seconding dersins. Tarte Tatin is delicious, and has an interesting origin.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:16 PM on January 16, 2008

This has been a dish I always bring to family functions. It's also really pretty!

Yam-Apple Casserole

1 lb yams, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick slices
2 large apples, cored and sliced
2/3 cup LIBBY'S® JUICY JUICE® Apple Juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup wheat germ (or brown sugar, or both)

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish. Alternately layer yams and apples in casserole dish; set aside.
2 In a saucepan, heat apple juice. Mix cornstarch with water in a small bowl or cup. When juice is boiling, stir in cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in sugar and cinnamon.
3 Spoon sauce over yam/apple mixture. Sprinkle wheat germ on top. Bake until the apples are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
posted by Lizc at 12:27 PM on January 16, 2008

Apple Brownies (and so easy):

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 medium sized apples, cored and chopped (it's up to you if you want to peel the apples; personally, I like them with the skins on)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream butter with the sugar, egg and salt. Beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in apples. Pour into greased and lightly floured 7x11 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 40 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve warm with ice cream or with milk!
posted by Sassyfras at 12:30 PM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

I can't think of anything more special than getting your own little tart. Maybe getting two when my brother only gets one ;)
posted by advicepig at 12:50 PM on January 16, 2008

Apple dumplings with hard sauce:


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups shortening
1/4 cup ice water
5 apples, peeled and cored
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Mix flour with salt. Cut in shortening with two knives until the shortening is the size of peas. Add water slowly until you can gather the dough into a ball with a fork.

Roll out dough and cut into 5 squares. Put an apple in the center of each square.

Mix sugar and cinnamon. Fill the center of each apple with the sugar mixture. Put a dab of butter on top of each. Bring pastry up around the apple to make a package, dabbing edges with a big of water if necessary to seal. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350*

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until apples are tender.

Serve warm with hard sauce. Serves 5.


3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
Dash of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream the butter until soft. Gradually add sugar and salt until creamy and light. Add vanilla and chill. Makes about 1 cup.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:09 PM on January 16, 2008

I have made this apple galette with some success. It's basically an apple tart. But it's not cake and it has a lot of apples in it, so I bet it fits most of your criteria.
posted by cacophony at 2:45 PM on January 16, 2008

If she likes fudgy/caramelly things in addition to apple, this dessert is always a showstopper (and as easy as you wish to make it) I cannot overstate the importance of the "large dish with raised edge" as the sauce is copious and like hot lava. For travel I usually use a standard disposable roaster from the supermarket.

Upside Down Apple Pie

one 8-inch pie baked and cooled. Can use frozen, prebaked, or homemade pie.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 1/3 tablespoons butter
1 ounce sweet baking chocolate
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts - walnuts, pecans, mixed nuts, or cashews can be used

Combine cream, brown sugar, chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. After a boil is reached, stir until mixture darkens and coats the back of a spoon, about ten minutes or so. Add nuts. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Place pie, bottom side up in a large dish with a raised edge (to prevent sauce spilling out) Pour sauce on top of pie, and around the sides. Refrigerate until needed. Serve at room temperature.
posted by pinky at 4:39 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Baked Apple Ice Cream

3 apples, peeled and cored
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each apple into eight lengthwise wedges and then cut each wedge in half crosswise. Put the apples in a baking dish just big enough to hold them in a single layer. Add the cinnamon stick, sprinkle over the brown sugar and dot with the butter. Bake until the apples are golden brown and soft, about 50 minutes. From time to time, spoon the melted butter and cooking juices over the apples and give them a gentle stir. When the apples are done, set them aside to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, half-and-half, cream, sour cream, ground cinnamon and sugar and whisk until smooth and well combined. Pour through a fine strainer into the ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

3. When the ice cream is firm and almost done, add the apples to the ice cream freezer, discarding the cinnamon stick but spooning in all of the cooking juices. Continue freezing until the ice cream is firm.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:39 PM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I feel slightly party pooper-ish, but are the apples in your area still pretty good in spring? They've gotten a little sad by Easter here in NYC-- even the hard, long-keeping ones like Granny Smiths are suffering from lack of juice by then.

That said, what about something cool like apples done three different ways served on one plate?--very fancy and understated--a tiny tatin or clafouti or tart, a little scoop of green apple sorbet (easy on the sugar), and a supercrisp, superthin wafer of dried apple. I had a pineapple-three-ways dessert like this once at a Jean-Georges restaurant and it KILLED me. That razor thin crisp of pineapple shattering in my mouth to spread its sunny goodness. Man. I may short out my keyboard with drool.
posted by eve harrington at 6:32 PM on January 16, 2008

My Mom's Apple Cheese Crisp

4-5 medium apples, sliced
1/4 lb cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp water
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter

Put apple slices in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and pour in lemon juice and water. To make topping, mix sugar, flour and salt together in bowl. Work in butter with a pastry blender until mixture looks like corn meal. Mix in grated cheese lightly with a fork. Transfer mixture to top of apples, and push over surface evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until crust is crisp and apples tender. Cut into squares and serve hot or cold. Makes 6 servings.

(I usually add more cinnamon, and a little less water.)
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:46 PM on January 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

Scandinavian Sour Cream Apple Pie recipe sounds delicious.
posted by leigh1 at 5:40 AM on January 12, 2009

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