Delicious baked apples in a crusty crust

Hello friends,

So here I am talking about how to impress your guests, again, or surprise yourself with a bit of creativity.

As you probably know I like to make my guests feel special and always like to end a dinner party with something to remember, usually it happens with food. So last night we had friends over for dinner and I was looking for a simple dessert to make, not very sweet, with simple ingredients that yield a big impact. I had six apples chilling in my refrigerator that no one paid attention to and a lots of frozen puff pastry. What to do what to do. Bingo – who doesn’t like warm baked apples in a crusty crust? well…my daughters. but that doesn’t count.

After scoring, cutting, wrapping and baking, in the end I came up with these mouth-watering sparkly baked apples in a golden crusty crust with stuffing that simply tastes  a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

delicious baked apples

baked apples in crusty puff pastry

Not only that but these apples look beautiful too, like little individual presents. I mean if the apples had eyes they would blink right back at me.

It’s so easy to make even a teenager with a nose ring can do it.

so, shall we:

ingredients
1 pkg puff pastry dough, thawed and chilled
6 medium size granny smith apples
1/2 c. toasted almonds, crushed
2 tbsp honey
3 cloves cardamon, crushed
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
1 egg white + 1 tbsp water (for egg wash)
2 tbsp fruit jam (orange, apricot
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
preparations
Heat the oven to 375º. Wash apples, scoop the cores then peel. Try to keep the apples whole. Drizzle with a few drops of lemon juice to keep color.
For the mix: in a microwave melt the jam about 30-40 seconds just to get it easier to blend. Combine honey, crushed nuts, cardamon, zest and jam and mix well.

delicious baked applesStuff apples with the nut mix, as much as the apples can contain. Set aside.

crusty baked apples

Roll out the pastry sheet into a thin layer and cut into equal squares, roughly 5″x5″. Larger squares if you have larger apples. Place stuffed apples in the center of each square, brush inside edges with the egg wash and wrap apple with pastry sheet. Here you can get creative and wrap it anyway you like. I pulled the four corners into the center and left little “ears” sticking out (in case you feel like stuffing these tiny pockets too). Place the wrapped apples on a greased parchment paper, brush with egg wash all around and sprinkle with cinnamon powder and brown sugar. Chill for 15 min.

delicious baked applesBake from 35 to 45 minutes, or until deep golden brown.

Serve warm. If you have a very sweet tooth add a side of vanilla ice cream, it’s a perfect cool/warm combo for any juice buds. Otherwise, serve the warm apple on its own making it the star.

delicious baked apple

P.S. I didn’t know it was my friend’s birthday that night (what kind of friend am I anyway?), so I quickly took a tiny birthday candle, stuck it inside the edge of the pastry and boom, instant personal birthday cake. The man was happy. Still is.

A must try. Yum.

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The perfect pear – shockingly delicious dessert

perfect pear dessert

perfect pears dessertIt’s gorgeous, its sexy and shockingly delicious thanks to the aged balsamic vinegar that adds a unique zap to this dish.

Deep in color and transparency the glaze is gently poured over the pears drips from top to bottom, creating this perfect little puddle on the plate – a perfect warm blanket for a scoop of vanilla ice cream – it will awaken all your senses!

It’s a favorite in my family and among friends and one of the easiest to make. The idea is to use an aged balsamic vinegar – the best you can efford.

pears in a pot - perfect pear dessertshall we:

Ingredients:
4 firm pears, peeled and left whole (Bosc work well)
2 cups of water
½ cup of a good quality aged balsamic vinegar – the best you can efford.
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
5 cloves
1 tsp cardamon seeds, crashed
vanilla ice cream (optional)

perfect pear dessertPreparation:

From the bottom of the pears cut a small slice so pears can stand upright.
In a medium heavy sauce pan combine water, balsamic vinegar, sugar and spices. Lay the pears in liquid and bring to a gentle boil on a medium/high heat. Cover the pot half way with a lid (so not to cause an over-spill), reduce to simmer. Cook pears for about 30 min or until tender, making sure you turn pears at least once.
Remove pears from the pot and set a side to cool. Continue to cook the balsamic glaze on a medium/high heat until thickens and sauce reduced to about half a cup. At this time the sauce turns into a beautiful transparent dark glaze. Remove from heat and let cool. The sauce thickens a little bit more while cooling. Remove bits of spices if you want. I usually leave it.
On a beautiful dessert dish place pears, or a single pear, upright. Gently spoon the warm balsamic glaze over the pear. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Serve it to yourself of course, and guests – you don’t have to say a word. They will.

perfect pears dessert

perfect pears dessert with vanilla ice cream

Eat. Bon apptite