Food & Drink

Ro’s Recipes: HALLOWE’EN TREAT: Baked Apples with Butterscotch Sauce

Ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night! The scary origins of All Hallows Eve is rooted in the pre-Christian Celtic folk cultures of Brittany, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, The Isle of Wight, and Ireland called “Samhain,” or “Summer’s End.”

Harvest season marked the end of summer and the beginning of the darker half of the year when spirits of the gods and the deceased would travel the earth. Food was often left out for them to find—and if you were rich enough—candles lit to guide them. The gatherings of the harvest, nuts and fruits, especially apples, would also be used in games of divining the future, like who you would marry, etc. Another ancient tradition has come down to us with games like “apple bobbing,” when children, hands held behind their backs, would bend down over a barrel of water with apples floating in them and try to capture them with their teeth. “Candy” or “toffee” apples are still traditional at this time of year.

So here’s my offering to mark Hallowe’en and keep the goblin spirits away!


Baked Apples with Butterscotch Sauce and Crème Anglaise


Yield: 6 portions

Equipment: Measuring cups and spoons, small bowl, 6 buttered ring molds, tinfoil


6 cored Braeburn or Granny Smith apples
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 2/3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/3 tablespoons sweet butter

4 tablespoons sweet butter
2 tablespoons water
1 1/3 tablespoons corn syrup
½ cup sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt

2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 whole cloves

4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch kosher salt

1 1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place cored apple inside a well-buttered ring mold to help it keep its shape.
Combine walnuts, lemon zest, sugar, and butter and stuff inside apples.
Bake loosely covered with tinfoil at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Melt butter, water and corn syrup. Add sugar till it begins to color to a dark amber–about 5 to 8 minutes. Off the heat, gently stir in heavy cream. Add vanilla and salt
Gently heat milk, cream. and spices till scald stage – small bubbles appearing on edges of pan.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt till light and creamy.
Little by little, temper the yolks – adding the scalded liquid till all is combined.
Add vanilla extract.
To serve using a metal spatula, lift each apple onto its plate. Carefully remove the ring mold, Pour the butterscotch sauce and crème Anglaise.


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