I kind of felt like Julie (of Julie and Julia fame) yesterday. I was home sick (legitimately!), but then realized that I had a recipe to make! I put off doing anything until the official end of the day, but still felt like maybe I shouldn’t be making any recipes to blog about (forget the part about cooking while I have a cold).
Of course, my foggy head probably didn’t help my recipe either. I’ve made a lot of Dorie’s apple recipes before. In fact I’d even say I often make her apple compote. But this isn’t one of the ones that I’d picked out. It seemed like a lot of fuss for 4 apples. Then there was the idea of heating up the oven for 2 hours. Clearly, I was over-thinking. Since I wasn’t at the top of my game, I decided that I should at least follow the recipe, though at the time I thought that with the orange, cardamom would have been a better choice. and I feel like you can never (ever!) go wrong with cinnamon. But I thought why not try Dorie’s combination?
The next thing was – cutting up those apples! I never peel a whole apple. I kind of think it must be a French thing, since I see it fairly often in Around My French Table. I did a bit of a comparison – including my typical “cut it in quarters first” method.
I thought it might make a difference, but as it turns out, it was probably about the same, though I did think that the quarters were easier to fit into my bowls, but no big drama there!
The apples get layered with a bit of butter and the sugar, spice, orange zest mixture. Then each ramekin is wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil.
Then the whole thing gets weighted down during baking. since I was going to use my countertop oven, I pulled out a neat thing that I remembered – a ceramic bread warming tile. It was perfect and the whole thing would fit in the oven. Then the whole things gets baked for about 2 hours and then allowed to cool – still weighted down.
I was surprised at how juicy the apples were after that amount of time. I kind of expected something a little different. More compressed. The combination was tasty though. I don’t know, however, if it was worth the extra effort – it would have made a fine baked apple. Or a different flavor combination for the compote. But that’s just me. And perhaps mine just didn’t work they way that they were supposed to. Might have been because of using the smaller oven too – don’t really know. But it was pretty tasty in any event!