The inspiration for this unusual holiday dessert comes from La Cucina Naturale, a wonderful cooking blog that offers recipes made with whole, healthy foods. In her recipe, she poaches chopped apples in red wine and spices, with a touch of honey for sweetness. Our version keeps the apples and adds homemade hone whipped cream as a garnish.
Adding nuts, pumpkin pie spice, or rum would help add another layer of sophistication to our base recipe, but it tastes great as-is. If you can’t find organic or local apples, pears work well in this recipe, too.
Merlot Poached Apples with Honey Whipped Cream (serves 8 )
6-8 organic apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cup organic Merlot or other full-bodied red wine
6 tablespoons honey, divided
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Place the apple slices, wine, and three tablespoons of honey in a very small saucepan. The deeper the apples are submerged in the wine, the better. If your pot is too large for the apples to be completely submerged, add a little more wine. Bring the mixture to a boil slowly over medium low heat. Boil uncovered for about 30 minutes, until apples have softend and wine mixture has reduced.
Meanwhile, place whipping cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it begins to stiffen and peaks are beginning to form. Continue to whip the cream, drizzling in three tablespoons of hone, until stiff peaks form.
Serve the poached apples along with some cooking liquid in wine glasses, topping generously with whipped cream.
This dish is part of our Organic Entertaining on a Budget series. A complete menu of recipes is available here.