French Fridays with Dorie – Spice-Poached Apples (and rice pudding)

This recipe was very exciting to me. As I’ve mentioned before, summer is dead to me. I am officially over it. I am ALL about fall right now, so the idea of poaching apples with spices seemed very homey and comforting to me. As you can see from the picture, things did not really go as planned.

Let me set the scene: I get done with work at 6 and have to run to the store for a few things (including the apples for this recipe). So I get there and they have this beautiful fall display set up with bushels of apples and cornstalks and pumpkins and all that shit and I was drawn in like a moth to a flame. Seasonally appropriate and locally-grown McIntosh apples? As Stefon would say, “Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes!” So I buy a whole bag and come home ready to rock this! I’ve got every burner on my stove going because I’m also making dinner and the rice pudding to serve with this because I’ve never made rice pudding before and I was intrigued by it for some reason. So I make the syrup and get the apples ready. Aren’t they pretty?

Notice (as I did after taking this photo) that I forgot to peel the apples before cutting them in half. Since I find it really hard bordering on impossible to peel a cut apple I just decided to go with it and make the poached apples “rustic.” I got them cored, dropped them into the syrup and brought it to a boil, then covered it as Dorie instructs. She also says you should check the apples “early and often” so I thought I was being a really good girl by checking them after 4 minutes. What did I find? Freaking applesauce with apple skins floating on the top! Really watery applesauce to be honest. You’d think that as a kind of experienced baker I would have remembered that McIntosh apples tend to cook down and sort of melt but as I said – moth to a flame. They were so pretty and shiny! So I salvaged what I could of the remaining apple chunks and made the best of it. It tasted really very good and the rice pudding might be one of my new favorite things. If I ever have kids I am going to be the mom who makes rice pudding from scratch when her kids are sick. That’s how much I loved it. I cut up an unpoached/unapplesauced apple to give the idea of apples to the mush and sprinkled some almonds for crunch. It really was super yummy – just not all that pretty.

I’d like to try this again with pears and not fudge it up. And if you are wondering who Stefon is, watch this video and die laughing. You can thank me later.

23 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie – Spice-Poached Apples (and rice pudding)

  1. I think I’d prefer apple sauce to top my rice pudding and yoghurt with! I used Granny Smith apples and they seemed to hold their shape well but I was thinking I would have preferred smaller sized pieces. I’m sure it tasted amazing!

  2. Hey, applesauce is good, too! I love rice pudding, and, even using the same recipe my mom uses, I’ve never managed to get it to come out as good as hers. Oh well. I’m totally in Fall mode, too. I’d have been sucked into the same vortex display as you, and would have come home with macintosh apples, as well.

  3. Yesyesyesyesyes! What a hoot – My hands are covering my mouth right now……..
    evidently none of the people above watched that video Maggie.
    As long as it tasted good – thats what counts.
    Honey Crisp apples are great, I don’t know how they cook though
    Keep up the good work Maggie – Love Dad

  4. Maggie, very funny post indeed…and yes I love rice pudding too, it is absolutely delicious with poached fruit, whether it is whole or a tad “disintegrated”, who cares.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. I bet the applesauce was completely infused with the flavour of the poaching liquid and went really well with the rice pudding. We used ice cream, because the weather’s still fairly hot here, but rice pudding weather is on the way!

  6. Maggie, I think I am the only Dorista that watched the entire SNL Post. Because………I DID NOT know who Stefon was. But I DID know that probably the big Mac’s are not what one would choose for poaching. Score 1 for Mary. Yesyesyesyesyes

  7. Loved the welcome you gave to Fall ! It is also my favorite time of year and i jump right on that Autumn bandwagon 🙂 I am now totally craving rice pudding and you have inspired me to give the homemade version a shot. My family thx you in advance. And I was giggling before that Stefon character even spoke- the hands over mouth was hilarious !!

  8. Not ugly- those apples are gorgeous! Because of the warnings of overcooking; I watched mine very closely- also did a combo of apples & nectarines…..gee, all those varieties of apples??

  9. Maggie, I had applesauce too, not on purpose. I used Cortlands (I had Macs on hand too, but had a feeling they were the wrong choice). I just bought some pears to try again with firmer fruit. Not sure what is the right kind of apple to use. I love fall, so glad it’s here!

  10. Pingback: Better Late Than Never French Fridays with Dorie – Squash, Apples. & Grapes « alwaysaddmorebutter

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