Roasted Apples are a great autumn period dessert on their own, but they’re even better as leftovers. You can use them as an ingredient in bread for tomorrow’s Elevenses, diced up to top tomorrow’s oatmeal porridge at First Breakfast, or even as a sauce for a nice pork chop. Don’t be afraid to double the recipe, so you’ll have some to eat tonight and more to use tomorrow.
- 4 large, tart apples
- 1 c / 235 ml sweet white wine
- 8 tbsp butter
- ¼ c / 50 g sugar
- 4 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp ginger
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- ½ tbsp allspice
- ¼ tbsp cloves
- 1 c / 220 g currants or minced raisins
- ½ c / 110 g chopped almonds or walnuts (optional)
Gently wash any wax or residue off your apples.
Use a spoon to core the apples. Don’t use an apple corer. You want to dig most of the way down while making sure to keep the bottom intact.
Arrange the apples in a square baking dish. If you can, you want them to be as snug as possible to help keep them from losing shape. Pour the white wine on top.
While the apples relax in their wine bath, mix 4 tbsp room temperature butter with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Once the butter and spices are a well-blended mix in the currants (or minced raisins) and nuts if you’re using them.
Stuff each apple with ¼ of the mix.
Top each well of stuffing with another 1 tbsp of butter.
Bake at 375F / 190C for 35-40 minutes, or until the apples are tender but not mushy. Baste the apples twice during baking. As soon as you take them out of the oven, baste them with the baking liquid again.
If you have more leftovers than you can reasonably use in the next day or two, chop up the apples, mix them with the remaining sauce, and freeze individual portions.
Use 4 tbsp coconut oil in place of the 8 tbsp of butter. Yes, that’s less fat, but excess coconut oil makes these taste oddly greasy.
Add ½ tsp of salt along with the spices.
WARTIME RATIONING VARIATION
Butter, nuts, and dried fruit were strictly rationed when Tolkien was actively writing. The 8 tbsp used in the pre-war recipe above would’ve used up a family’s entire ration of butter for two weeks! While wine wasn’t rationed, it was nearly impossible to come by.
If you’d like to try a period flavor like what Tolkien actually ate instead of what he actively fantasized about, make the follwing modifications:
- Substitute 2 oz lard or oil for the butter
- Substitute 3/4 cup of water + 2 tbsp vinegar for the wine
- Reduce sugar to 1 tbsp
- Omit all fruit and nuts
Brush the inside of all apples with the lard or oil. Mix the spices with the scant sugar and rub it inside the apples. Pour the water and vinegar mix on top and bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes or until tender but not mushy.
If this seems exceptionally modest, remember that while Tolkien was writing people served boiled carrots rolled in a scant amount of simple syrup as a special sweet treat for kids.
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