This is the last recipe I will be posting for Bosnia Month, because March is almost over already! I have saved an absolute favourite of mine 'til last the end of the month as well. Bosnia has been so delicious in all aspects, but I have to confess, to me, this has been a dessert month. The Bosnian desserts were just amazing. However, my partner said he personally thought that the Bosnian savoury food was stronger this month and particularly nice - so I guess it's just all awesome :)
These incredible poached apples and the Easy Bosnian Chocolate Walnut Cake are my two favourites from this month. As you may have noticed, walnuts were really quite a theme here! All three of the Bosnian desserts I made this month were packed full of walnuts (see also my Bosnian Walnut Baklava)! So it seems that walnuts may just be the national nut :)
This dessert was so delicious and easy and is super convenient for dinner parties for 2 reasons. 1) you can just use exactly the right amount of apples so that there is one for each guest and you're not piled with a whole lot of leftovers (although not so good if you're not quite sure how many people are coming to your dinner party) and 2) it is mostly done in advance - the apples can been cooked and stuffed well ahead of time and then all you need to do is plate them up and add some whipped cream (coconut of course!).
One quick thing I should note is that for this recipe you will need an apple corer. I've never owned such an implement and have never desired to so I was calling around to all my friends to see if they had one that I could borrow. I was just starting to despair and thinking that I might have to actually buy an apple corer (which I'm sure I would never use ever again), when I discovered that actually my partner's mother has one! It had never even occurred to me to ask him because a) he lives with me and b) he's not much into cooking. Lesson learned - sometimes we forget to ask the most obvious people!
I made 9 apples when I cooked this for my dinner guests, so I doubled the recipe. Unfortunately, with the quantities listed I had quite a lot of leftover syrup. This is a difficult thing to avoid, since you need to have enough liquid in the pan to poach the apples. You can play around with the quantity of syrup depending on the depth and size of your saucepan, as long as you keep the sugar to water ratio at 1:2. You may also be able to reduce the amount of syrup by using a small, deep saucepan and poaching the apples in batches.
If you do have a lot of syrup left over, I used it up making these lovely Apple and Rhubarb Sago Parfaits and a great Apple Syrup Cake (recipe to be posted at some other stage).
4 green apples
2 cups raw sugar
3 cups water
Juice of a lemon
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbsp raisins
1 can of coconut cream, chilled in the fridge over night (minimum! Optimum would be a few days.)
1 tbsp confectioners sugar (soft icing mixture)
1. Add the water, sugar and lemon juice to a large saucepan and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
2. While this is heating peel and core your apples. Reserve the peelings to use later. As soon as they are peeled and cored bring the syrup to a low simmer and add the apples (do this fairly quickly, as if you leave the apples sitting around peeled for too long they will go brown).
3. Cover the saucepan and let simmer gently for about 4-5 minutes. The apples should be just soft enough to poke with a fork or knife, but still maintaining their shape. Remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon and place in a container to cool (I recommend doing this with the hole facing upwards to reduce risk of them collapsing as they cool). I actually put mine straight into a muffin baking tray to cool, as the muffin indents in the tray were just the right size and helped the apples keep their shape as the cooled.
4. Continue to simmer the syrup and add in the apple peelings that you reserved earlier. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. The syrup should be reduced and thickened. Remove the apple peelings with a slotted spoon and set the syrup aside to cool.
5. While the syrup is simmering you can prep your filling. Roughly chop the walnuts and raisins and mix in a bowl.6. Once the apples are cooled stuff the holes in the centre with the walnut and raisin mixture. Do this in the container (muffin pan) that you had them cooling in, so as not to make a big mess on the final plate.
7. Just before serving make the whipped coconut cream: when you open the tin you will notice that the top is a very solid thick cream. Scoop out all of the solid thick cream on top (you can reserve the rest of it to use in another meal – like a curry). Put the cream into a bowl and mix well using a hand held electric mixer. Move the beaters up and down to get as much air into the cream as possible. Add the sugar and beat until it looks just like thick whipped cream.
8. To serve, place an apple on a small plate and drizzle with some syrup and dollop some cream on the side. If there is any leftover walnut filling sprinkle it on the top as garnish.
Check out our other Bosnian recipes: