Milford Farmers' Market

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This simple, orchard-fresh dessert captures the flavor of vanilla ice cream melting into the warm apples in a pie -- but more quickly, and with way less fat and sugar.


  • Gala apples (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • tablespoons butter
  • vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • egg yolks
  • tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup sparkling wine, such as Prosecco


  1. Peel and core the apples. Cut each into 12 wedges. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a 12-inch broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Using the tip of a knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the skillet. Toss the bean in, too. (If using vanilla paste or extract, add at this time.) Add apples; sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until apples are deeply golden and tender. Remove vanilla bean. 
  3. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, whip cream to soft peaks. Keep chilled. 
  4. Heat 1 inch of water in bottom of a double boiler; bring just to a simmer. In top of double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt; add wine and whisk continuously until mixture is thickened and has doubled in volume (do not boil), 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk 1 minute to set and cool. Fold in whipped cream until just combined. (The cream may deflate a bit.) 
  5. Spoon cream mixture over apples in the skillet (or arrange apples in 6 individual broiler-safe gratin dishes). Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until topping begins to turn golden (watch carefully!). Serve immediately. 

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