We’re not known for luxurious desserts—it’s not our thing. We get too full too fast. We prefer savory salts, the occasional soft, ripe, bloomy artisan French cheese and hard after-dinner liqueurs. We gorge on calories in other ways. But for the holidays, when the fruitcakes and weird chocolate logs start showing up on people’s tables, there are some far easier, more awesome ways to serve festive treats—and get drunk at the same time. We’ve become obsessed with baking apples in apple beer.
The idea—not ours—came from our friend Molly’s grandfather, who ran a Brooklyn deli for years and served baby apples baked with cherry cola inside. That grossed us out at first, then it turned us on: Why not slowly roast apples in a beer that already tastes like them, thereby fortifying them with more appleness as well as all the Belgian spice notes of a beer like Unibroue’s Éphémère? To “seal the deal,” as it were, we came up with a coriander-spiked pastry crumble to bring out the spice in the white winter beer.
6 Fuji apples
2 cups Éphémère apple-spiced beer
6 whole cloves
For the Pastry Crumble:
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ground walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1) Pre-heat your over to 375°F.2) Core the apples and place them in a long, deep bread pan. They should sit snugly so they don’t bob around. Pierce each with a clove. Pour the beer on top of the apples, which should be about two-thirds submerged. Put the pan in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes or until softened and starting to get blistery and slightly mushy. The beer should be reduced by about half.3) While your apples roast, whip up the simple crust to top ’em off. Mix the margarine in a bowl with the flour, sugar, ground walnuts and cinnamon. Roughly crush the fresh coriander seed in a mortar and pestle and add to the mix. Use a fork to cut the dough, then squeeze in your hands until evenly mixed.4) Once the apples are ready, pull them out of the oven and stuff them (not too tight) with most of the pastry crumble. Sprinkle what’s left on top and let it fall into the reducing beer goo. When you put the apples back in the oven for another 10-12 minutes, the crumble will melt into a sugary syrup with the beer.5) To serve, place one apple on a small desert plate. Spoon some extra beer syrup on the side and drizzled on top.
Beverage: Unibroue’s Éphémère
Soundtrack: Silver Apples’ “I Have Known Love”