Apples are by far my favorite of all the fruit, perhaps my parents have something to do with it. As kids we would play table games nearly every evening, always having an apple platter on the table to munch on.
We are in the apple season now and I've been eating lots of apples, I love them fresh, dried, cooked, baked, sliced, sauced,grilled, juiced, from a jar or poached.
I've made poached apples before but I've never poach the whole fruit, just the slices of fruit. Usually I use wine to make the poaching liquid just like the one in my Red Wine Poached Apples but I ran out of wine and wanted to try something new.
Today I will share with you a recipe that just suddenly came to my mind. Few weeks back I shared my Chai Latte Concentrate recipe, then I made Chai Marshmallows and so influenced by my love for chai I decided to make Chai Poached Apples. Result is as you can surely imagine more than delicious, dipping poached apples in chocolate ganache and chopped walnuts has really nothing to do with the fact that I ate 2 of them on the fly..really nothing...or maybe everything. Needless to say this is a seductive combination of lightly spiced chai rum apple with smooth chocolate ganache and crunchy walnuts.
Chai Rum Poached Apples
4 small to medium size apples, peeled and cored from the bottom, leaving the stem intact
3tbl dark rum
juice and zest of one lemon
1/3 cup brown sugar*
2 whole star anise
few pieces of fresh ginger, about 1-2 inches
vanilla paste or vanilla bean, or you could use vanilla extract if you can't find vanilla bean
5 chai tea bags
2 parchment paper rounds to fit inside of the pan
*I like the poaching liquid to be only faintly sweet but if you prefer sweeter taste add more sugar or honey as desired.
In a medium size pan (make sure you can fit all the apples ), bring water and all the ingredients except tea bags to boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat, add tea bags and let steep for 15 minutes. Bring back to boil(leaving the tea bags in), reduce heat to simmer and add the peeled and cored apples.Once you put the apples into the simmering poaching liquid take the parchment rounds and place them directly on the top of the apples and press very slightly down until you get some of the liquid on the top of the paper as the weight of the liquid will keep the parchment rounds lightly submerged, this helps with making sure apples are covered in liquid when poaching. ~Cook on very low setting~ Cooking will take only 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the apples.
Make sure you don't let them go too soft, you want them to hold their shape. They are done when you can easily cut into the apple with the knife but they are still holding their shape. Remove apples from the liquid with a slotted spoon and let them cool slightly.
You can enjoy your poaching liquid as a drink or reduce it to make the sauce.
Once the poached apples are cooled to room temperature you can dip them in the Ganache and coat them with chopped walnuts.
You can make poached apples day before and store them in the fridge, covered.
Chocolate Ganache (for 4 apples), use 1:3 ratio(chocolate:heavy cream), for example 1 cup chocolate to 1/3cup heavy cream
60grams milk chocolate
20grams heavy cream
1tsp butter room temperature
Walnuts- for topping about 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Heat heavy cream and butter until it is hot and bubbles are forming on the surface, pour over small pieces of chocolate, cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Dip Bottom of the apples in the ganache and coat them with chopped walnuts. Let set and enjoy.