Kitchen appliances keep amazing me. I can spend hours in a department store, deciding that I really need that 6 quart professional stand mixer. Or, hey, that gelato machine right over there! And who doesn't need a new five foot long barbecue?
What's that about the size of my apartment? Small. Yes, I know. But I'm actually starting to think that if I bought a huge barbecue, I could live in that instead and even have some extra space for the gelato maker, stand mixer, and even the see-through toaster. Plus, I wouldn't have to worry about being cold in the Winter.
Barbecue abode fantasies aside, there's one kitchen appliance I had never had the chance to see until I got up close and personal with it back home: the Sous-Vide Supreme. The name itself sounds quite regal, and I must admit seasons of watching Top Chef made me wonder what cooking sealed foods in a water bath would actually be like. Good for me, my Maman has a newfound love for this cooking technique and invested in one of these beauties. Hey, some people refer to cars as beauties, so I can do that for an appliance, can't I? "sous vide" actually means sealed, as in "all air removed", in French, and that is exactly the way you have to package your food before dunking it in the water bath.
Whoo-wee! Look at that lean mean sousviding machine!
So far, the SVS (it deserves an acronym) had seen flank steak, salmon, and other meats in its waters. True to my sweet tooth, I decided to try cooking apples sous vide. And if you haven't already been eyeing the SVS, I'll add it comes with a nice recipe booklet. The spiced apple recipe I went with came from this booklet and couldn't have been better.
Ready for bath time
Cooking the apples for two hours at 181F (or 83C) yields impressive results. I had cored the apples and placed a nice mix of spices and butter inside--but left the apples whole--and sealed them in a bag before cooking. Once they were out of the water bath, they were like butter. The apple melted in my mouth with a minimal amount of butter, something I had never experienced before.
Bad lighting, good apple.
In general, I tend to prefer eating raw fruits because I love them so much au naturel, but this certainly changed my mind. I could have eaten ten of these, but that wouldn't be so good. I need to stay slim to fit into that barbecue.
Spiced Whole Apples
Fill and preheat machine to 183F/83C.
4 small tart apples, peeled and cored
3 TB (or 45g) unsalted butter, softened
1 lemon, juice and zest
1/2 TS salt
1/2 TS ground cinnamon
1/4 TS ground nutmeg
1 TS brown sugar
1 TB raisins
Zest the lemon and reserve zest. Juice the lemon over the apples.
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, zest, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Stir in the raisins. Divide the butter mixture among the apples, packing it well into the center core area.
Place apples, two per pouch, into pouches. Evacuate as much air as possible from the pouches and seal.
Place pouches into the slots of the pouch rack and invert the rack in the water bath to hold them in place, beneath the water surface, during cooking.
Serve apples straight from the pouch, topped with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.