October 17, 2023
The thrill of the hunt begins each fall at the roadside stands. I look for unfamiliar varieties of apples to try for cooking and eating. This year it’s the Ozark Gold apple. This variety is a little over fifty years old, so not exactly new, but new to me.
Bright bands of sunny yellow and burnished red decorate this fruit. It’s an early type so I bought up a mess of apples before others take its place. Soon there will be Stayman and Empire and the marvelously crunchy Evercrisp. I do love a crisp apple to remind me of Virginia’s bounty. This chef also likes to add apples to all manner of sweet and savory dishes before the stands close for the season.
Maple Apple Dessert Sauce is a cinch to make and it stores in the fridge for a couple weeks. Plain vanilla ice cream becomes something ethereal. Waffles and pancakes get the salon treatment with an unexpected alternative to syrup. Apple and ginger make a compatible couple. Imagine the decadence of this sweet sauce ladled sparingly on top of Gingerbread Ice Cream .
This dessert sauce is chunky and thick with apples and toasted pecans. You will need to gently heat it in the microwave if not used right away. It becomes very thick once refrigerated. If you want the sauce to be more pourable, add a few drops of extra maple syrup after heating.
Maple Apple Dessert Sauce
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes about 2 ½ cups
1 ½ pounds apples, peeled and chopped (about 5 cups total)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅔ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ cup apple cider
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped toasted pecans*
*to toast pecans, keep halves whole for even toasting, then chop; 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes will give a nice color and flavor
- In heavy nonreactive saute pan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add apples, salt, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Once mixture begins to sizzle, add apple cider and keep at a low simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring gently occasionally, about 35-40 minutes.
- If mixture looks thin and watery, it will thicken on standing.
- Cool to room temperature and add toasted pecans.
- Use immediately or refrigerate up to 1 week.
- To serve, very lightly microwave to soften until spoonable and use over ice cream, puddings, cake, pancakes or waffles.
- If you’d like this to be even more pourable, add a few drops of maple syrup to the warmed sauce.