Sarabeth Levine, owner of Sarabeth's, prepared baked apples in ginger ale and maple syrup in the Good Day Cafe.
Sarabeth's is expanding in New York City with a new location on Park Ave. South and 27th Street.
-4 Rome Beauty apples, about 12 ounces each
-1 quart ginger ale, all natural
-2 cups unsweetened filtered apple juice
-1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/3 cup pure maple syrup, Grade A medium amber
-1 vanilla bean, preferably Plumped Vanilla Bean
-1 cinnamon stick
-Approximately 2 cups heavy cream, for serving
1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a 1/2 inch-wide strip of peel from the top of each apple. Using an apple corer, core the apple three-quarters of the way down to the bottom. Be careful not to go through the bottom of the apple. Using a paring knife, remove any remaining skin around the cored area. Place the apples, cored sides up, in a nonreactive 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven or flameproof casserole.
2. In a large bowl, mix the ginger ale, apple juice, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Using the tip of a knife split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds into the liquid (if using Plumped Vanilla Bean, squeeze out the seeds), reserving the pod. Pour the mixture over the apples, letting it fill the cored centers. The liquid should come two-thirds up the sides of the apples. If necessary, add more apple juice or water. Add the cinnamon stick and the reserved vanilla pod.
3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn the apples over, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the apples right side up and cover again. Simmer just until the apples are tender when pierced with the tip of a small, sharp knife, 5 to 10 more minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the deep plate to cool.
4. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil over high heat. Cook, uncovered, until syrupy and reduced to about 2 cups, about 25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Cool the syrup completely. Pour the syrup over the apples. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
5. Place the apples in bowl; pour the syrup in the holes and around the apples, and serve with the heavy cream.