RECIPE: Middle Eastern Baked Apples

ruthanna_gwJanuary 1, 2006

If you're serving Middle Eastern food and want a dessert alternative to the usual baklava or other phyllo based treats, you might want to try these.

MIDDLE EASTERN BAKED APPLES

5 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup honey

½ cup shelled pistachio nuts

½ cup pine nuts

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup currants

¼ tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1 ½ tsp. rosewater

6 medium to large Golden Delicious apples, cored

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, cream 4 Tbs. of the butter with the sugar and honey. Add all of the nuts, the currants, cloves, cinnamon, and rosewater. Chop all of the ingredients together until the mixture resembles a paste.

Stuff each apple with the nut mixture and stand, stem end down, in the baking dish. Rub the skin of each apple with the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and sprinkle any remamining nut mixture over the apples.

Bake until the apples are soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Source: Elias Shammas

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BeverlyAL

Sounds fabulous! What to substitute for the rose water?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 2:22PM
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Daisyduckworth

No substitute for rosewater! Or, maybe just a teensy bit of rose hip syrup (check out the baby section of your supermarket). But it should be easily available in the baking section of your supermarket - amongst the food colourings etc. It's used quite a lot Middle Eastern cooking, and is well worth getting some. It's easy to make your own rosewater. Best to use the darkest, most heavily perfumed red roses:

Rosewater
Boil 1 cup red rose petals with 1 cup water for about 10 minutes. Cover and leave overnight. Strain, discarding petals. Will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge. It may be sweetened with a little honey before boiling if desired.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 4:24PM
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BeverlyAL

Daisy, thank you for the information. I don't have any roses and rosewater isn't in the supermarkets where I live. I could order some, but ir would probably be expensive and I wouldn't use it for anything else so it wouldn't be worth it.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 10:19PM
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roselin32

These sound good, Ruthanna-minus those currents though.
Beverly, rosewater here isn't very expensive and it is really good in lemonade too. I use it a lot in the summertime.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 10:27AM
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BeverlyAL

Where do you find yours Roselin?

I would probably sub raisins for the currants.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 10:57AM
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roselin32

We have a Mediterranean Restaurant here that has a little store attached and they sell it. Some of the larger grocery stores sell it too.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 12:08PM
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ruthanna_gw

They have it at the Wegman's grocery store in our area - $1.99 for a bottle that's about 6 to 8 oz.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 3:42PM
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BeverlyAL

We have neither Wegman's or a Mediterranean place in this town. I'll look for it though.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 6:38PM
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annie1992

Beverly, no roses here either, no rosewater and no Wegman's and no Mediterranean place. Because I don't know what it tastes like, I guess I wouldn't miss it. Maybe we could just substitute vanilla, it's only 1 1/2 tsp...

Annie

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 8:26PM
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ruthanna_gw

With the way they taste, I wouldn't use vanilla. Orange juice might be a better substitute.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 10:02PM
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Daisyduckworth

Rosewater has a subtle, sweet, perfumy flavour that is very pleasant to the palate. Vanilla has too strong a flavour to substitute for it.

Orange juice might be OK, but better still would be Orange Blossom Water, made in the same way as Rosewater.

Yeah, yeah, I know - no orange blossoms either!

Seriously, if the worst comes to the worst, just add the same amount of plain water - or some cold water/sugar syrup. You won't miss the flavour of the rosewater - until you've tried it.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 2:49AM
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annie1992

Thank you, Ruthanna, that would probably be a viable solution. In my town of 800 residents, I'll probably never see rosewater, and like Beverly, wouldn't use enough of it to bother to drive 100 miles to buy some.

Annie

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 11:04PM
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BeverlyAL

Okay, sugar water or orange juice it is. Thanks girls!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 10:36PM
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Daisyduckworth

I spotted bottles of Rosewater Essence in my supermarket this morning. Small bottles, about 5cm tall (2") similar to food colouring bottles - 96 cents. (That's Australian money, of course!)

It's a pity we can't email each any more, or I'd get your address and send you some.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 11:17PM
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lpinkmountain

Ruthanna, I have the ingredients for this except for pistashios. I might try and make this over the weekend, depends on my schedule. I've been looking for a good winter dessert to go with all the Eastern dishes I like to make. In the summer I just serve melon.

Buying rosewater was fun, I got to peruse the exotic foreign foods aisles at Wegman's. I had to work hard to restrain myself, but got away with just the rosewater and some korma curry sauce. The rosewater came in a huge bottle but was very inexpensive. It's probably not top of the line, as per my memory of my last year's rosewater post. Never did get a chance to try those recipes, since I ended up getting sick at that time. I figure if the rosewater isn't any good I can always bathe in it, LOL.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 9:39PM
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jimnginger

Annie,
Re: Because I don't know what it tastes like, I guess I wouldn't miss it. Maybe we could just substitute vanilla, it's only 1 1/2 tsp...

Rosewater from Lebanon is a clear but has a very pungent and strong flavor of roses. 1 1/2 tsp is a good quantity of rosewater, as is the same amount of vanilla. Using vanilla or orange juice (minimal if any taste) would give you a dish without a really characteristic flavor.
On the downside, rose and orange waters do not keep very long and should be used quickly and are best stored in the refrigerator. 1 1/2 tsp out an 8 ounce bottle ($1.99 here in a small market)would barely make a dent in the total contents.
However, with all that left, just think of all the different recipes from north Africa you could try.
Hope Santa was good to you. Hope you aren't working too hard. Don't even know that you will ever see this post.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 3:51AM
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