Saturday morning I went over to the Santa Monica farmer's market to pick up some produce. I wasn't planning on getting any apples, but there were apple samples everywhere so of course I tried them all and ended up getting some. They are called Odin apples, and they're small and golden-red in color. Like, actually metallic gold looking on one side when they are under indoor light. So incredibly beautiful, AND the flavor is very sweet while maintaining perfect crispness in texture. They are also fairly small, about 3 inches in diameter. I decided to use them for a baking project I'd been thinking about, by putting a spin on one of my favorite desserts, baklava, and using thinly slices apples instead of filo dough. The cinnamon and butter flavors went perfectly with the apples and when they're topped with the honey syrup it's pretty fantastic. I like my apples to still have a bit of firmness to them after they've been baked, and the Odin apple definitely retained that. If you are a fan of mushier baked apples, you might want to try a different variety than the one I used here. Gala perhaps? Also, I had to cut my apples by hand so I could only get them 1 cm thick, but if you have a mandolin slicing device I bet you could get them reallllly thin and have a lot of fun with the layering. Hope you enjoy it!
4 Odin Apples
1/3 Cup Crushed Pecans
1/3 Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Butter, melted
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Sugar
First, make the syrup. Heat the water, honey, and sugar over high heat until the mixture boils. Lower the heat and allow the syrup to simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat, and allow to cool for a few minutes before placing it in the refrigerator to chill.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the pecans, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves until evenly distributed. Set aside.
Peel and core the apples, then cut them into 1 cm thick slices, cutting horizontally across the apple so that they can be stacked on top of each other.
Brush the bottom layer of one of the apples with the melted butter and place it in a baking pan. Then sprinkle some of the sugar mixture on top of it. Then grab the next layer of the apple, butter it, set it on top of the base layer, and sprinkle some more of the sugar mixture on top of that slice. Continue to repeat this process until all of the apples have been assembled on the baking pan. Also, when you are finished creating an apple, make sure to stick through a toothpick on each side so that they don't fall apart when baking.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Once you remove it from the oven, place the apples on a serving tray and pour the chilled syrup over them. Serve immediately.