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Apples Baked in Pastry

    This is a favorite recipe of Greg Atkinson,  executive chef at Seattle's Canlis restaurant.  He regularly contributes to food magazines and is the author of In Season and The Northwest Essentials Cookbook.  He is currently part of a media tour in the Northeast U.S. promoting Washington apple varieties.

Ingredients for apples:
4 large Jonagold apples
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Butter Pastry, recipe follows

Apple Jelly Sauce, optional, recipe follows
1.      With a sharp paring knife, peel apples and remove the cores.  Reserve peels and cores for the jelly sauce.
2.      In a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and cardamom, and fill each cored apple with this mixture.  Wrap each filled apple with a round of the pastry dough, leaving a small opening at the top.  Apples may be wrapped and refrigerated for several hours or overnight before baking and serving.
3.      Thirty minutes before serving time, preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.  Arrange apples a few inches apart on baking sheet and bake 35-40 minutes or until pastry is golden-brown and apple is fork-tender.  Serve each apple hot or warm in a pool of apple jelly sauce.

Ingredients for butter pastry:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold water

1.      In a food processor, combine flour and salt.  Add chilled butter and pulse motor off and on until the mixture resembles crumbs.
2.      Move the flour and water mixture to a bowl, add the water all at once and stir just until mixture comes together to form dough.
3.      Transfer pastry to a well-floured surface and divide into four equal parts and chill.  Roll each part into a 7-inch circle.

Ingredients for apple jelly sauce:  (Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
Peels and cores from six apples, chopped
1 cup water or enough to almost cover peels and cores
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar

1.  In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook peels and cores with just enough water to cover for 15 minutes, or until very soft.  Press the liquid through a strainer into a measuring cup and discard the solids.  Pour 1/2 cup of the liquid into a saucepan and discard the rest.
2.  Add lemon juice, and over high heat, bring the liquid to a full rolling boil.  Add sugar all at once to the boiling juice and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until a small amount of mixture holds its shape when dropped onto a chilled plate.  Sauce may be refrigerated and held for several days, then warmed just before serving.

Serves 6
Nutrition information per serving:  protein-4g, fat-22g, carbohydrate-43g, fiber-3g, sodium-261g, cholesterol-37mg, calories-384

Washington Apples, "The Best Apple On Earth." (TM)

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