Friday, October 12, 2012

Cider Apples (Gluten Free)

This  is a terrific fall dessert, easy, tasty and healthy to boot. It's just the thing to serve the family on a cold, windy evening after you have returned from the apple orchard/pumpkin patch with a huge bag of apples and a bottle of cider. Must have cider. It calls for 1/4 cup grenadine syrup.
According to Wikipedia, my all purpose reference source, grenadine is a non-alcoholic syrup that used to be made with pomegranate juice, sugar and water. Now it's made with evil, high-fructose corn syrup, and a bunch of chemicals, so as far as I'm concerned, you can just leave it out. That's what I did because I forgot to buy some, but hey, it was a good move.
You may want to know what barely tender means and how would you know when the apples are barely tender. The point is, you don't want the apples to get mushy. So stick an apple slice with a knife before you put it in the cider to see how it feels. You want it to be just a little softer than that. So stick the knife in after the apples have been poaching for three or four minutes. They should allow the knife to go in somewhat more easily.

Cider Apples

4 cups cider
6 whole cloves
1 two inch piece cinnamon stick
2 slices fresh ginger root
6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into three-quarter-inch slices
1/4 cup grenadine syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot

1. Combine the cider, cloves, cinnamon stick and ginger root in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer fifteen minutes. (If you prefer sweet desserts, one half cup sugar, or more to taste, can be added to the cider mixture.)
2. Add the apple slices and poach until barely tender. Remove apple slices to a serving dish and keep warm.
 3. Add the grenadine to the cider syrup and boil to reduce the quantity by half. (If you aren't using grenadine, you honestly can leave this step out. The syrup will be a little less syrupy, but, so what?) Strain the syrup, measure it and then thicken with one and one-half teaspoons arrowroot mixed with a little cold water for each cup of the syrup. Pour over the apples. Serves six.

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