A sweet Friday Treat: Apple in Honey and Pine Nut Caramel

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Some of you have probably read, watched, and are still recovering from the controversial article and video on the Washington Post [Video Reveals Violations of Laws, Abuse of Cows at Slaughterhouse]. I myself have been shaken by it, but I won’t delve on that today…not yet. I thought it befitting to end the week and treat you to a nice dessert. And here at Casa de Gourmeted, we live for dessert.

Apple in Honey and Pine Nut Caramel

After work yesterday, I pored over our stack of magazines. I try to read them all…well, except for the New Yorker ones which just seem to pile and pile and pile up, it’s become a joke. I looked through the February issue of Bon Appetit again [same issue where we got the recipe for Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado] and checked if there was a dessert I can make with what we already have in our kitchen.

As you can tell by now, we rarely cook anything by the book. Something always ends up being modified. When I saw the Pear in Honey and Pine Nut Caramel with Artisanal Cheese, I remembered we still had an untouched bag of Dan’s favorite Pink Lady apples. I could use that in place of pears! We picked up some pine nuts on the way home from doing after-dinner errands and I made it after Apprentice (had to see who got booted out first).

It was effortless to cook and INCREDIBLY GOOD. So good that it made me think it was Friday night already. My olfactory and gustatory senses were having a party – happy, happy, happy. Drool. Dan and I both loved it and agreed it was a winner.

Apple in Honey and Pine Nut Caramel

If you aren’t convinced to make this yet, you must have a cold cold heart or the restraint of a devout monk. I kid. ;-) Here’s there recipe if you do get the itch to make it, including a visual step-by-step guide.

Apple in Honey and Pine Nut Caramel
[loosely adapted from February 2008 Bon Appetit’s Pear in Honey and Pine Nut Caramel with Artisanal Cheese]

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter [i.e. I used Earth Balance whipped buttery spread.]
  • 1 firm but ripe Pink Lady apple , 3 1/2 tablespoons mild honey (such as orange blossom or clover)
  • 1 tbsp. of pine nuts
  • whipped heavy cream
  • pinch of kosher salt
  1. Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to brown.
  2. Add apple halves, cut side down, to skillet.
  3. Drizzle honey over apples and swirl pan slightly to blend butter and honey.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until apples are tender when pierced with paring knife, swirling skillet occasionally and adding a few tablespoons water to skillet if caramel sauce turns deep amber before apples are tender, about 12-15 minutes. [I had to add water twice, our apples cooked in 15 minutes.]
  5. Flip apples around to get some of the syrup on the round side.
  6. Transfer apples, cut side up, to serving platter.
  7. Return skillet with caramel sauce to medium-high heat; add pine nuts to skillet and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  8. Cook until sauce in skillet is brown and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Spoon sauce over apples and serve.
  9. [Optional] Top with whipped cream. Enjoy warm.
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