The other day I made a visit to my neighborhood’s wine shop, namely STD Liquor (mmhmm, you read right), when an old Russian woman stricken with such a bad case of osteoporosis that she seemed to be folding in half approached me. “Wine good deal. Over there!” she exclaimed in broken English. I smiled and nodded, but knew better than to go for the cheap stuff at STD. But this particular patron, so grandmotherly, a wiry bun resting atop her head, was not about to let me walk away without taking advantage of this wine deal. “Two dollars! Good for party. You keep. Pour into decanter.” I don’t know what it was about her. Perhaps I was under the influence of her intoxicating perfume (Youth Dew, I suspect), but she convinced me to grab a couple bottles of the “good deal” wine. I walked home trying to reassure myself that this was the best bargain I had come across in a long time, but the further I walked from the old woman and STD, the more my confidence faded.
At home, I popped the cork of the first bottle and poured a little into a glass to taste—“Oh my god! It tastes like grapey dill!”
I suppose that we all let good judgment fall to the wayside every once in awhile. Luckily, I found a way to salvage the bottle. Now, I’m almost glad that I was duped, because I REALLY enjoyed these apples. Bf did, too. Perfect for a chilly Fall night.
Autumn Poached Apples
- 4 medium-sized Granny Smith apples
- 1 bottle red wine (crappy wine welcome)
- cinnamon stick
- small palm-full cloves
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 peels lemon zest
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
Peel the apples and set aside. Stir together wine, cinnamon, cloves, sugar and lemon zest over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan for a couple of minutes. Place apples in the pan, lowering heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until apples are red and soft. Set apples aside to cool on a plate and boil the remaining liquid until syrupy. Remove from heat. With the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, mix together the mascarpone and confectioner’s sugar until light in texture. When ready to serve, spoon mascarpone cheese onto plates, place apple on top, and cover in syrup.
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine (#11)