Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Baked Apples In Puff Pastry (Or Not) With Raspberry Preserves and Lemon

This is an utterly delicious but very simple recipe - really for 2 different but delicious desserts - with or without the puff pastry. In fact you can prepare the pastries and pop them in the oven to bake while you are eating dinner; it will be ready just in time for the dessert course:). Served a la mode (with the traditional vanilla or butter pecan ice cream), it is sure to please one and all! It is easy on the eye too - apples bathed in gorgeous raspberry sauce and topped with a snowy cap of ice cream. Yummy indeed!

You can make this dessert without the pastry - save the carbs and fats :). I just place the apple halves snugly in a baking pan, pour the sauce over them and bake until the apples are soft, about 30 minutes. Serve them warm from the oven, just as they are or a la mode - place baked apple on a serving dish, add ice cream and spoon some of the sauce from the pan over the ice cream. I had it at E's house this way - a la vanilla ice cream made with vanilla beans. Delicious and totally guilt-free!

Purchased puff pastry sheets makes this recipe a snap to prepare. Puff pastry sheets are readily available at most markets.

8 Servings


1 box Puff Pastry Sheets (1 lb), 2 sheets
2 McIntosh or Rome Apples

For the sauce:

1 tsp Grated Lemon Rind (Only the yellow part)
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
Sugar to taste (Optional)
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp Almond Extract

Vanilla or Butter Pecan Ice Cream to serve


Take out the pastry sheets and thaw according to manufacturer's directions. Cut them into 4 pieces each and place them on a baking sheet lightly coated with a nonstick cooking spray.

Wash and dry the apples; peel and cut in quarters from stem end to blossom end. Remove the blossom end and stems carefully. Remove the core with a tomato stem end remover or a teaspoon so it leaves a little hollow.

Place the apples snuggled in the pastry in the baking dish.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce except the almond extract in a small pan and heat until the jam melts. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract.

Pour about 1 Tbsp of the sauce over each of the apple pieces pooling some of it in the hollows. Save the rest of the raspberry sauce for serving.

Bring the corners of the pastry up so that it makes a loose cup around the apples.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the apples are very soft and look shrunken and the pastries are golden.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the warm pastries carefully in serving dishes.

Place a scoop of ice cream on the apples and spoon a little of the raspberry sauce over them. Serve right away. Yum...

Note: If you don't have seedless raspberry jam, press the jam through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

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