I startedout to make this with little interest really, as the title is no eyecatcher. But it was our recipe for today’s FFWD group, so that’s what I was making.
As I readthe recipe and started to set out the ingredients, it dawned on my that it wasthe apple ‘loaf’ I ate many times in the past, courtesy of one of my father’sex wives (yes, one of them, there are a few…).
This is an interestingrecipe, where very few ingredients bake a long time transforming themselves intosomething that you don’t expect. Just apples, butter and sugar basically,forgotten in a low heat oven and turning into a silky, caramelized dessert. AndI really mean forgotten because it’s best to leave it overnight, and I really meanlow oven, as in 100ºC /220ºF.
Long andslow apples is not a fitting title for a recipe that even this guy considersgenius. You might mistakenly turn the page, not even tempted by a photograph becausethere is none. I definitely need to have a serious talk with Dorie about this.
You startwith apples, cut them very thin, mandoline thin, and then stack them up in abuttered mold, alternating layers of fruit with brushes of melted butter and sprinklingsof sugar and a flavoring like a zest or cinnamon. Cover the whole thing andforget about it in the oven.
I used a loaf pan and baked it for like 7 hours, until I got a golden color and the apples were absolutely tender when pierced with a knife.
It’s a bitlike packing a suitcase, you start with a base and then fill the nooks andcrannies with those irregular little pieces of apples until it looks like notanother single thin slice fits in, yet a little pressure down makes room for afew more. The first time you might realize you needed more sugar between layersor a different spice, so next time you get a bit better at it.
And, just likepacking, after a few times you can perfectly fit all your slices and the amountof sugar is perfect, the result is amazing and you do it in no time.
I haveeaten this dessert many times in the past and was even given the recipe at somepoint, though I will hardly ever know where it is now. What I do remember isthat it involved orange juice too, that was poured through the sides beforepopping it into the oven, and the final color was a much deeper caramel brown. Itwas richer in every way. So I need to try it and let you know.