4 ripe apples (Cortland, Granny Smith, or your favorite)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 750ml bottle Riesling of choice
1 zest of a fresh lemon
3 cinnamon sticks
5-8 whole cloves
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cardamom
Basic Apple Preparation
Using the small end of a melon baller, remove the apple core from the bottom end of the ripe apples. Now peel the apples from the bottom towards the stem, making sure not to remove the stem set aside while you get the poaching liquid ready.
Pour an entire 750ml bottle of Riesling wine into a medium sauce pan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Now, add the cracked pepper, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and lemon zest. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and add the apples, bottom side down. Allow the poaching liquid to reach the boiling point again and set the timer for 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the apples so all sides poach evenly. Once the cooking time has completed, remove the sauce pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate 2-6 hours. This gives the apples maximum opportunity to absorb all of the flavors in the poaching liquid.
Remove the apples from the liquid and set aside. Strain the remaining liquid thru a mesh strainer into a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 of the original volume. The reduced liquid should be the consistency of a thick syrup or honey. Remove from the heat and start the topping.
Topping Preparation and Presentation
Add the cream to a chilled bowl and whip until soft peaks appear. Add the powdered sugar and cardamom and beat an additional 45 seconds. Take one of the apples and slice, from top to bottom, along the center line. Place the apple halves, stacked against each other, in the center of a dessert plate. Drizzle the with the reduction and add a dollop of the cardamom cream. Garnish with fresh mint and lemon zest.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: Active:20 minutes, Passive: 2-6 hours
Cook time: 25 minutes