This apple thing, it is so delicious.
Some of you may recall my fascination with Julia Child. I had some extra apples, so I dipped into Volume Two of Mastering the Art of French Cooking for something to do with them. And came up with this delicious apple thing. Which is not what Julia calls it, of course. She calls it Gratin de Pommes, Normande, or alternatively Clafouti aux Pommes, or if you want to say something in English, she likes the lengthy name Sliced Apples Baked in Rum, Raisins, Eggs, and Cream.
Since I wasn’t really going to go with Delicious Apple Thing, I went with Baked Apples Normandy. Which is a clue that from here on out, I’m not going to completely follow Julia’s directions.
We don’t want to get in trouble with Julia.
I’m going to tell you how I made it. If you want to make it exactly how Julia makes it, you need to get her book. You should probably get her book anyway.
This recipe is something of the French version of a cobbler–sort of. One of Julia’s titles for this dish includes the word clafouti. Clafouti is a French word for a raised, or puffed, fruit pancake, and the batter used in this dessert is definitely very clafouti-like. (See my recipe for Pear Clafouti.)
How to make Baked Apples Normandy:
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dark rum
6-7 medium-sized apples (2 pounds)
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cream
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Soak the raisins in a small bowl with the rum–for at least a couple hours, or overnight. I used golden raisins.
Because I never understand what a medium-sized apple is, I weighed the apples. Julia tells us to wash but don’t peel the apples.
I love recipes that tell you not to peel apples. They are my favorite. Core and cut into thin slices. While preparing the apples, preheat the oven to 375-degrees. When the apples are ready, place the butter in a large baking pan and put it in the oven for a few minutes to melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and add the apples and the 2/3 cup sugar.
Julia’s recipe actually calls for 1/2 cup sugar here, but she suggests this may not be enough. I didn’t think it was enough and I used 2/3 cup, as I wrote the ingredients above. Mix the apples and sugar into the butter then return the pan to the oven for 25 minutes to partially bake the apples.
Take the pan of apples out of the oven and spoon the apples into a 2-quart baking dish, including a little bit of the apple liquid. (Not all of it! It’s too much. Just what goes in there in the process of spooning in the apples is enough.) You can sprinkle additional sugar over top of the apples, if you like. I like.
Whisk together the eggs and the 1/2 cup sugar. Add the flour, cream, and cinnamon, and mix well. Drain as much of the rum as possible from the raisins over the apples then fold the raisins into the batter mixture. Pour the batter mixture over the apples and spread evenly.
Bake at 375-degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the top is slightly golden.
Julia says you can serve it hot, warm, or cold, and with whipped cream or nothing at all.
This is not sanctioned by Julia, but I have also made this recipe using chopped pecans soaked in the rum instead of raisins and it was also delicious. Either way, baked in a pretty dish, this is good enough for the holiday table if you’re looking for a different idea!
You can order Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor now!