Saffron Poached Apples with Maple Mascarpone
|Granny smith apple||1⁄2 , sliced thin on a mandoline|
|Sugar||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Water||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Lemon zest||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Lime zest||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Mascarpone cheese||4 Ounce (Cheese Shop)|
|Maple syrup||1 Tablespoon (Wegmans)|
|Apples||8 Small, peeled and cored (Empire)|
|Saffron||1 Pinch (Spice Islands Pure)|
|Liqueur||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Dry white wine||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Apple cider||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (Wegmans)|
|Water||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Cinnamon sticks||2 (Mccormick Gourmet Collection)|
|Lemon zest||1 Pinch|
|Ground cloves||1 Pinch (Mccormick Gourmet)|
|Maple syrup||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (Wegmans)|
|Clover honey||1 Tablespoon (Wegmans)|
|Molasses cookies||4 , crumbled (Wegmans Old Fashioned)|
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
1. Prepare garnish: Make simple syrup by adding sugar, water, and citrus zests to medium saucepan on MEDIUM-LOW. Cook, stirring, 10 min, until syrupy. Dip Granny Smith apple slices in syrup; place in single layer on silpat or double parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 2 hours, until crisp and dry (slices will dry and crisp up further as they cool). As apple slices bake, prepare rest of recipe.
2. Prepare filling: Blend mascarpone with maple syrup; chill until ready to use.
3. Prepare poaching liquid: Add saffron to pear liqueur for a few min to allow it to "bloom." Add liqueur with saffron, wine, cider, water, cinnamon sticks, reserved pinch of lemon zest, clove, maple syrup, and honey to stockpot on LOW. Stir; let mixture come to a simmer.
4. Add whole mini-Empire apples; cook 20-25 min, until tender but not falling apart. Remove from liquid; transfer to clean platter. Chill, covered, 2 hours.
5. Bring poaching liquid to rapid simmer by raising heat to MEDIUM-HIGH. Cook until reduced by half.
6. To serve: Center apple on plate. Pipe mascarpone into apple core cavity. Drizzle with poaching glaze; top with crumbled cookies and garnish with 2-3 dried apple slices.