Saturday, September 20, 2008

Creating Ambre Narguile in the Kitchen

Sometimes I forget that apples for most of their time in history have been a fruit of sensuality, not the humble everyday fruit it has become. I also often forget their connection to the beautifully exotic quince that must be cooked to enjoy the layered flavor of apple, lemon, rose water, and peach. This all stopped today when I yet again I used another recipe from my quickly becoming a beloved cookbook The Worlds Best Recipes by Mark Bittman, once again it was a recipe the used very little ingredients, only four: apples, sugar, cinnamon, and butter, the recipe: Caramelized Apples. I will say this now before going into more detail I think part of the reason this turned out so gorgeously was the organic heirloom apples I got last week at the orchard.

It began with the scent of the apples caramelizing in the oven, topped with with only a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, the scent was quite dazzling, and immediately an identification came up in my mind, the uber expensive and frankly delicious Ambre Narguile by Hermes. What was also amazing was the sheer aromatic power of the apples, at one point I was tempted to open another window the scent of apples was so intense. Then I took them out and a few minutes later scooped some out into a bowl, the apples at the bottom had becom translucent in the caramelization process, yet remained firm with a candied texture. The color though was what shocked me it become a light pink tinted amber, reminding me of quinces when cooked. Eat this with a splash cream, creme fraiche, thinned sour cream, crema, or greek yogurt. No ice cream (too sweet and rich).
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image: Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti


The Daily Connoisseur said...

I love caramelized anything- especially apples! I must get this book after you have raved so much about it.

I roasted brussel sprouts this afternoon and they turned out divine. I used to hate them until I found a recipe in Barefoot Contessa's cookbook- roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper in a hot oven for 40 minutes caramelizes them and gives them a divine crunch- they almost taste like french fries!

Now I'm feeling like apples...

Jenavira13 said...

That really is the best way to have brussel sprouts; but doesn't everyone hate them when they are young?;-) It really is hard to hate anything caramelized, reminds of another delicious caramelized food: onions.

ScentScelf said...

Roasting is awesome for almost everything! Lurve that slow roasting!!

That said, a lovely post. Am thinking ahead to next weekend, when I would like to have a go at this myself.

Jenavira13 said...

Which reminds me of one of my favorite vegetables roasted: Asparagus. Of couse nothing beats potatoes. Okay anything roasted is usually divine. Do roast something next weekend, it always smells divine.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Yes I think it's safe to say that most things are better caramelized and/ or roasted. I'm hungry!