My favorite winter dessert takes all of 15 minutes to prepare: thinly sliced apples, sauteed in butter with warming spices and a touch of maple syrup. Sometimes, if I'm feeling fancy, I'll use the sauteed apples as the foundation for a crisp or crumble, or fold dough around them for a galette. Mostly, though, I simply heap some into a bowl, still steaming, and top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Apple pie a la mode, minus the crust.
For this rendition I went with cinnamon and fresh ginger for spice, added extra depth by browning the butter slightly before sauteing the apples, and folded in walnuts and currants at the end for additional texture and flavor. The result was warming and satisfying, but not overly filling, the perfect ending to a winter meal.
maple cinnamon apples
Jonagold apples were practically made for the saute pan; they hold their shape and retain a bit of bite when cooked. I had only one Jonagold this time so included a Pink Lady and a Cortland, too; the latter two varieties tend to fall apart during cooking, so I had a blend of intact slices and sauciness, which I liked. Leftovers are delicious for breakfast, warmed and topped with plain whole milk yogurt.
juice of 1 lemon
3 large apples
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup dark maple syrup, divided
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly broken into smaller pieces
2 Tbsp currants
Add lemon juice to a large bowl. Peel and core the apples, and slice them thinly. Add them to the bowl as you go along, tossing with the lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Add the cinnamon, ginger, and 2 Tbsp of the maple syrup, and gently toss to evenly coat the apples.
Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat until it stops foaming and begins to brown slightly. Add the apple mixture and juices and saute, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the juices thicken, about 8 minutes. Gently incorporate the remaining maple syrup, walnuts, and currants, and cook for another minute or so.
Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like.