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These cranberry lapsang poached apples taste like the essence of fall.
They are at once familiar and surprising, a sweet apple with no cinnamon to be found. And yet there are still warming, fragrant spices in the form of allspice and fresh ginger.
Lapsang souchong tea infuses the apples with a subtle smokiness, like a whiff of bonfire.
And the apples themselves, in the process of cooking, take on a cider-y aroma.
The cranberry juice brings a hit of tartness and turns the apples a gorgeous deep garnet hue.
But if you paired them with an ice cream like a vanilla or a caramel they’d make a sophisticated dessert.
And of course, if you’re the sort of person who likes a cheese plate for dessert then these would absolutely be at home there, too.
But really, I think they’re excellent cocktail party or dinner party fare.
They’re very much sort of thing that’s perfect for a grown-up gathering where you might have wine and cheese and a smattering of appetizers out for grazing. And because they’re so easy to make ahead, they leave you free to hang out with your guests and enjoy the party.
My favorite way to serve them is how they’re pictured here. The whole apples look lovely as part of centerpiece, but I like to slice at least a few of them ahead of time for easy access for a guest picking them up.
It’s nice assemble some bread and soft cheese topped with apples to have out for finger food.
- 4 cups cranberry juice (unsweetened)
- 2 tea bags lapsang souchong tea (or 2 teaspoons loose tea)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 slices fresh ginger, about 1/8-inch thick
- 2 teaspoons whole allspice
- 4 broad strips orange rind
- 6 medium apples, peeled
- In a wide saucepan that can fit all 6 apples in a single layer, add the cranberry juice and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the lapsang souchong tea bags (or loose tea in a strainer), and steep for 3 minutes. Remove the tea and discard.
- Add the sugar, ginger, allspice, orange rind to the cranberry juice, and add the apples in a single layer. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently for about 25 minutes, occasionally turning the apples over so they are equally red on all sides. The apples should feel tender when tested with a pairing knife but still be fairly firm.
- Remove the apples with a slotted spoon and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve chilled.
You can strain the poaching liquid and reduce it down to a syrup and store the apples in the syrup if you'd like. It'll make the color even more vibrant.
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Harney & Sons Loose Leaf Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong, 3 Ounce
Allspice Berries, Whole - 1/2 Pound ( 8 ounces ) - Dried Whole Jamaican Allspice by Denver Spice
Kuhn Rikon 3-Set Original Swiss Peeler, Red/Green/Yellow
All-Clad 4204 with loop Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Sauce Pan with Loop Helper Handle and Lid Cookware, 4-Quart, Silver (8701004419)
Hiware Solid Stainless Steel Spider Strainer Skimmer Ladle, 5.4 Inch
Life Tree Juice Concentrate, Unsweetened Cranberry, 8 Ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 63Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g