When life gets a tad complicated and I notice that my usually bright and sunny disposition appears challenged I often opt to take a short culinary recess and liberate myself from my responsibilities here as the witty, cutting-edge world-famous food blogger and raconteur you rely on. Did you miss me? Do these Apples in Cardamom Lime Syrup make up for my absence?
Sis Boom goes dark for small bits of time while I seek solace from the world. I then decree (to myself only) that only simple food will exit the kitchen while I, um, sorting my shit out. Any culinary ‘to do list’ I have amassed will get pushed back to the recipe cabinet and the stack of cookbooks I keep by the bed get carried out to the garage were they will not tempt.
Three ingredient meals (such as this Apples in Cardamom Lime Syrup) that I can more or less assemble from Trader Joe’s “treasures” are the primary menu choice for these times. Any time I save in the kitchen has been re-purposed into late office days, work travel, visiting in-laws, and once again, coping with an accidental destruction of 1/3 of my house due to a neighbor’s plumbing failure.
Oh, and then there is that matter of a friend who is a bit upset with me. (More that one later…)
It is going to be like this for a few more weeks. I hope you like simple food too as that is what I will be pumping out here on Sis Boom Blog this week and next. Even if I could find more time most of my cooking gear has been spirited away by Water Mitigation Elves to a facility for safekeeping and cleaning. No coeur a la creme molds, mini loaf pans, canning pots, muffin tins, 8, 9, or 10 inch spring form or madeleine pans at my house. Oversized roasters, pizza stones, pans that leave pretty grill marks, bundt pans (regular and mini), and pans for popovers have all been removed. Unless you can make it on a cookie sheet or in a Le Creuset dutch oven I don’t want to hear about it. (I wouldn’t trust the insurance company with my Le Creuset so it has to stay nearby. Lets be real.)
And speaking of madeleine pans, my friend Madeleine the financier called yesterday to tell me that she isn’t speaking to me ever again. It seems she wasn’t too fond of my last post . I pointed out the irony of her spending nearly an hour on the phone telling me she didn’t want to speak to me ever again and then she yelled at me for another 30 minutes.
I tried my best to be apologetic but we both knew what would eventually happen anyway.
Once our conversation gradually allowed for me to share with her my soggy garage woes and about how all my pots and pans where now on vacation at a ‘restoration facility’. I explained to her that we have decent insurance but these kinds of things always come with extra hidden costs which we can ill-afford seeing as we haven’t yet recovered from the time this happened two years ago . I laid it on very thick and did my best to sound worried. I saw my moment.
“What are you going to do for the money?” , she asked.
“ I was thinking I would fly to Vegas to look for a handsome Arab man who knows where Cartier is located .”
Cue laughter. Friends again. So simple.
So, how do you like them apples? Mmmm… Cardamom !
Apples in Cardamom-Lime Syrup
It doesn’t get any simpler than this easy dessert. Or breakfast. It can easily be both. The method belongs to nobody but this particular flavoring comes courtesy of Alice Medrich and her “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts”. The appeal here is not just simplicity and versatility but by April I can’t ignore an apple dish that does not rely on cinnamon or nutmeg. While I never tire of apples, I get cinnamon/nutmeg fatigue with my first wiff of it back in October.
For all of these reasons, this dish gets play at our house all year round. What doesn’t get eaten at dessert with a scoop of ice cream or crème fraîche gets repackaged as yogurt parfaits in the morning.
adapted from Alice Medrich's " Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts "
This is what you will need:
- 3 apples, preferably firm. I mixed Granny Smith and Gala, skins left on. Cut into 8-10 wedges.
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 16 cardamom pods, gently smashed so seeds can escape
This is how you make it:
- Combine all ingredients except apples into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat
- Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar and steep the cardamom.
- Add apples to syrup and then weigh them down with a salad plate or saucer that is smaller than the pan but not so small as to let apples 'escape'.
- The plate should keep apples submerged while they simmer for 8-10 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a toothpick or sharp knife.
- Remove from the heat and let the apples cool to room temperature (1 hour) without removing the saucer.
Apples are best served chilled and will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week.