Brown Butter Streusel Baked Apples with Siúcra [AD]

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Streusel is a German word meaning ‘sprinkle’ or ‘scatter’ and is typical in many Deutsch bakes, and not dissimilar to our own forms of crumble topping –– however the key is in the rocky, rather than sandy, texture.

Another key element in this recipe: apples. Apples come into their own here in Ireland in Autumn, abundant trees heaving with ripe fruit in every shade, almost mimicking the palette of the falling leaves –– reds, greens and yellows.

Bringing it all together, here, is Beurre Noisette (or nutty/brown butter), which is a wonderful way to add extra flavour to bakes –– even cakes or sponges, adding that additional nutty depth to traditional buttery bakes. Here, a couple of extra minutes melting the butter for the streusel topping pays delicious dividends later on, and this comforting and simple dessert can be whipped up at a moment’s notice. 

Brown Butter Streusel Baked Apples

Serves 6

  • 120g butter
  • 120g soft dark brown Siúcra sugar
  • 150g flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • A handful (about 100g) pecans, toasted and chopped
  • A small handful of oats
  • 1/2 salt
  • 6 eating apples
  • Custard, whipped cream, or ice-cream, to serve

1. For the streusel, melt the butter slowly in saucepan until it turns foamy, then nutty and golden. Combine all the dry ingredients (sugar, salt, flour, oats, cinnamon) with the chopped toasted pecans and stir in the browned butter with a fork until it comes together into a rocky rubble. Allow to cool, cover and refrigerate if not using immediately as it will firm up further and be easier to scatter.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC and begin by taking an inch or so off the top (stem-side) of each apple, straight across. Then, using a paring knife beginning from the very centre, bore out the core and seeds, being careful not to pierce straight through the apple –– starting with a paring knife and continuing with a sturdy teaspoon may make light work of this. Stop when you get to about 1/2” -1” from the bottom. However much or little you want to remove of the apple is your personal preference, but allow a fairly generously deep and wide area to house the delicious streusel topping.

3. Holding the cored apples over the bowl of streusel, take a handful of the topping and fill each apple, allowing a little peak of crunchy rubble to sit comfortably at the top. Assemble the apples in a lipped baking dish and fill the bottom of the dish with about an inch of water from a recently boiled kettle.

4. Bake the apples for 30-45 minutes (depending on size and variety –– some fluffier varieties may cook very fast, whilst firmer, sharper apples may take more time) and serve warm from the oven, an apple per person, with your choice of lightly whipped cream, indulgent custard or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. 


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