Sometimes you just have to cook the apples and then disguise them with something to make them look dessert like.
So here we go, though I am reminded of my mother’s second most hated dessert, (she grew up hating rice pudding, applesauce, white fish in white sauce, white or beige food generally). So for her, though she is not here, I made red wine apples (the colour’s the thing!) flavoured with vanilla extract, strewn with independent crumble topping and served with a dollop of voluptuous Greek yoghurt.
Chop up endless apples with no particular end in mind.
Realise that the hour is getting late.
As there is a bottle of red wine handy that has been opened to excite the black eye bean chili with a little something….
Pop the apple pieces in a small pan. Slosh, in the style of the late lamented Keith Floyd, a generous slurp or two or three of red wine over the apples. Heat gently till the apples are poached, or if a mix like I had, disintegrating in part. Turn off the heat, throw in a spoonful of your vanilla extract as well.
Taste, add as little sugar as you can get away with. I think I used one spoon of soft brown sugar, that was all this time. We like our apples tart in this house.
Sprinkle the top with some independent crumble mix that you made earlier in the week.
Add a spoon of yellow apples on top (found in the fridge from the day before)
Dig out the dairy indulgence or whatever you are allowing yourself to eat these days and tuck in.
I like it warm, the soft aroma of the wine swirls up and hits your nostrils and you can pretend it’s something much fancier than applesauce, even a hint of Christmas there and mulled wine; it worked for me now the weather has turned cold.
You can always have chocolate later if that pudding was just a bit too low sugar for you.
Independent crumble – This is kind of so obvious I wonder why I have never done it before. Thank you Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, for another Everyday cookbook hit suggestion. I feel empowered by that book, full of good ideas to play with for everyday cooking which is really all I do.
So where were we? Oh yes.
Just make crumble mix, I think the Americans call it streusel, with whatever you want, butter, sugar, with agave nectar, non dairy fat, with oats, flour, nuts, dried fruits, whatever you like, experiment, whatever crumbles your boat. Then spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it. Keep your eye on it, turn it every so often and once it looks cooked let it cool and store and use as needed.
I made one yesterday with whizzed up oats, a few toasted walnuts, two dessert spoons of agave nectar, a handful of swiss dark flour ( a light wholemeal) and some good butter. Delicious, low sugar, just sweet enough crumbs to strew over these wine coloured apples. B said it was just like trifle! Result!
How difficult can that be? It’s not. Thanks Misk for reminding me about that Danish childhood dish, I had already peeled the blinking apples or I would have done your smart thing with the appleskins too. I’ll remember that for another time I promise.
I wonder if my mother would have eaten it the way I made it yesterday, I like to think she would have at least tried it.
The photo? Taken on the Ipad, and artyfartied with a little programme called Snapseed. For those of you who like everything textured and atmospheric you can tweak the textures, move the focus and put silly frames on the photo just by rolling your finger over the screen. Photos for idiots like me.