Roll Out the Apple
Though I've kept a journal over the years to record what I've served at memorable dinner parties (and there have been many), I've been particularly lax in remembering some of the smaller, less-heralded, but more important moments in my personal culinary history.
For example, around this time of year, conversation with the fair Titania will inevitably circle around to her swooning memory of the very first dish I served her at my home: lavender-sauteed apples.
Doesn't sound like much, does it? But as with the simple but elegant tarte tatin, sometimes simplicity is stunning. In this case, melted butter plus sugar plus lavender buds plus fresh crisp apple slices equals a rich, fragrant, delightful dessert.
It never registered with me that my dear friend's first visit to my humble kitchen was marked only by dessert. (You'd think I would have offered her a full meal!) But every fall, she slips into raptures over the memory of those apples, and I find I have to make some for myself just to conjure her company.
With leftover buckwheat crepes in the refrigerator after yesterday's feast, then, it seemed only fitting that I should indulge in a glorified version of this dish tonight. While the apples bubbles in the sweet butter on one burner, I reheated the crepes on the other. I whisked together a quick yogurt sauce (1/4 c plain yogurt and 1 T maple syrup), and once I had spread the apple slices in thick lines and rolled up the crepes, I smoothed the sauce on top and added a light sprinkling of bittersweet chocolate chips.
The lavender apples alone make a refreshing way to clear your palate after a meal, but this luscious variation hit the spot on a cold and blustery night with its sweet warmth, whole grain comfort, and creamy sauce.
I may not remember that first time, when the fair Titania, like Eve, was tempted by an apple. But I know that the next time she's around, I'll have to share this even more irresistible dessert with her.
Lavender Sauteed Apples
Originally found in Morning Glories, a lovely herb cookbook, this recipe has become almost second nature to me. Enjoy the apple slices on their own, topped with a little yogurt or ice cream, or rolled in warm crepes.
1-2 T unsalted butter
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp lavender buds
1 apple, peeled, cored, sliced
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and lavender and stir to combine. Add the apple slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples soften.
Serves 1 but is easily doubled, tripled, etc.