Fruit

Rosemary Apples in Crepes with Rum Caramel Sauce

For many years, my mother made her apple pies with Transparent apples, an heirloom apple we picked in late August from my grandmother’s sprawling tree in south Seattle.

Boxes and boxes of apples were loaded into our 1970s station wagon and transported back to our house, where we spent days washing, peeling, coring, slicing, and freezing.

We made and canned apple sauce and packed bags of sliced apples into the freezer for the coming year. In the autumn and deep into the winter, there were many, many apple pies.

Apples are one of the most interesting fruit varieties, and their history is long. (I recommend reading the first chapter of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which provides a fascinating history of apples in the United States).

Fortunately, growers of heirloom apples have revived many varieties that used to grow in the United States and Europe, dating back to the sixteenth century, thus giving us more diverse flavors and textures. A few favorites are Calville Blanc, Winesap, Northern Spy, King David, Roxbury Russet, and Arkansas Black. Many great-tasting apples have been “born” in the last fifty years, but, for me, the heirloom varieties possess unique flavors I don’t find in the newer apples.

Rosemary Apples in Crepes with Rum Caramel Sauce with white sugar

The best way to learn about your local heirloom apple varieties is to talk with an orchardist or knowledgeable market staff. They can tell you which apples are best for baking, saucing, freezing, eating fresh, and storing.

This dessert is a favorite of mine; the combination of the apples, caramel, and rosemary folded into crepes can’t be beat. Don’t pass up this dessert because of its extra components. The crepes and caramel can be made ahead. Then the dessert is just a simple slice and sauté of the apples. Like many other recipes in this book, just the apple preparation is a dessert on its own. As an autumn or winter dessert, this one is indispensable.

Ingredients (Makes 6 servings)

½ recipe Crepes (this page)

1 recipe Rum Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)

4 medium apples (tart-sweet, such as Jonagold or Pink Lady)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons light brown sugar or honey

½ vanilla bean, split and scraped, or ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean, or ½ teaspoon vanilla paste

1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary

Preparation step by step

1. Prepare the crepes, then the caramel sauce.

2. Cut the apples into ⅛-inch-thick slices (do not peel them). Gather all the other ingredients, and set them near the stove before you start cooking. This is a quick cook!

3. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet until it is fragrant and brown bits are evident on the bottom of the pan. Be sure to take this step far enough to get the deep brown-butter flavor, but not so far that it burns.

4. Add the sugar and vanilla bean, and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high, and add the apple slices. Sauté the fruit quickly, tossing or stirring occasionally. Add the rosemary and toss with the apples to combine. Remove the apples from the heat.

5. Place one crepe on each dessert plate. Divide the apples between the six crepes. Fold the crepes in half and then half again. Drizzle a few tablespoons of rum caramel over the crepes. Serve immediately.

Rosemary Apples in Crepes with Rum Caramel Sauce

This dessert is a favorite of mine; the combination of the apples, caramel, and rosemary folded into crepes can’t be beat. Don’t pass up this dessert because of its extra components. The crepes and caramel can be made ahead. Then the dessert is just a simple slice and sauté of the apples. Like many other recipes in this book, just the apple preparation is a dessert on its own. As an autumn or winter dessert, this one is indispensable.

Ingredients (Makes 6 servings)

½ recipe Crepes (this page)

1 recipe Rum Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)

4 medium apples (tart-sweet, such as Jonagold or Pink Lady)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons light brown sugar or honey

½ vanilla bean, split and scraped, or ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean, or ½ teaspoon vanilla paste

1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary

Preparation Step by Step

1. Prepare the crepes, then the caramel sauce.

2. Cut the apples into ⅛-inch-thick slices (do not peel them). Gather all the other ingredients and set them near the stove before you start cooking. This is a quick cook!

3. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet until it is fragrant and brown bits are clear on the bottom of the pan. Be sure to take this step far enough to get the deep brown-butter flavor, but not so far that it burns.

4. Add the sugar and vanilla bean, and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat too high and add the apple slices. Sauté the fruit quickly, tossing or stirring occasionally. Add the rosemary and toss with the apples to combine. Remove the apples from the heat.

5. Place one crepe on each dessert plate. Divide the apples between the six crepes. Fold the crepes in half and then half again. Drizzle a few tablespoons of rum caramel over the crepes. Serve immediately.

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