Red Wine Poached Crimson Gold Apples are a stunning fall and winter dessert. Warmly spiced and filled with vanilla mascarpone, they’re presented beautifully.
What are Crimson Gold Apples?
Red, crimson, gold — a whole lot of beautiful colors going on here.
- About the size of a golf ball, these apples are adorable and delicious, with a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.
- They are about three bites each and their season is typically October through January.
- Grown at Cuyama Orchards, these beauties are harvested by hand. Each and every one of them!
The red wine completely transforms the Crimson Gold Apples into a rich burgundy color, and fills them with warm, deep flavors.
What’s in this recipe?
- Crimson Gold Apples
- dry red wine
- cinnamon sticks
- cardamom pods
- black peppercorns
- powdered sugar
- brown sugar
How to Make Them
This method of poaching the apples can also be applied to pears.
These little darlings are striking and make for the perfect holiday party dessert.
Your guests will think they’re truly stunning, and then when they taste them, they’ll think you’re truly amazing!
Especially when they find the vanilla mascarpone surprise when they slice into their apples.
Where to Find Them
I hope you enjoy these oh-so-pretty Red Wine Poached Crimson Gold Apples!
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Try to choose apples that are all approximately the same size so they will cook evenly and present beautifully.
- The longer you marinate them, the deeper the flavors will be.
- You can play around with the flavors if you’d like. A few whole cloves would be lovely in addition to, or instead of the cinnamon. You can also switch out the lemon for orange.
- I think the green of the chopped pistachios is a beautiful and festive garnish, but you can skip this, or use another nut if you’d like. (Hazelnuts or pecans would be delicious, too.)
Red Wine Poached Crimson Gold Apples
- 2 cups dry red wine (Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz)
- ½ cup golden brown sugar
- 4 approximately 3 inch cinnamon sticks
- 5 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 dozen Crimson Gold Apples
- 3 tablespoons Mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- about 1 teaspoon pistachios, roughly chopped
- Make the red wine marinade. In a medium-sized sauce pot, combine the wine with the brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, peppercorns, lemon zest and juice. Place the pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir to be sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
- Prepare the apples. Peel each apple, leaving the stem intact. Then use a tiny melon baller to gently scoop out a small hole from the bottom of each apple, working your way all the way into the apple to remove the seeds. Add each apple to the wine marinade as you work.
- Cook the apples. Place the pot over low-medium heat and bring to a strong simmer. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and simmer just until the apples are tender, about 1 hour. You can test one with a fork -- the apples should slide off the fork with ease when they're ready. Remove the pot from the heat and let them cool at room temperature for about 2 hours.
- Marinate. Use a slotted spoon to add the apples to a plastic container large enough to hold them and the liquid. Place a strainer over the container and pour the wine mixture over the apples, straining out the spices. Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. (The longer you marinate them, the deeper the flavors will be.)
- Turn the marinade into a sauce. Strain the wine mixture into a small sauce pot and set the poached apples aside. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat to low and simmer until it has reduced by about ⅔ and has thickened to a syrup consistency -- this should take about 20 minutes.
- Make the filling and fill the apples. While the wine sauce is reducing, in a tiny bowl, combine the Mascarpone with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir until it's very smooth. Add this to a small zip-lock bag, remove the air and then seal it. Cut a tiny bit off of one of the corners and then squeeze the mixture into the bottom holes of each apple, filling them completely.
- Plate and serve! Place the filled apples on a platter of serving plates, drizzle the reduced wine sauce over them, and sprinkle lightly with the pistachios.
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