An Easy Appetizer Celebrating the Season
It’s September in New York, and that usually means mounds of apples on our counter, but an unlucky sequence of warm and cold weather this spring ruined most varieties of crops before they even flowered, from Michigan to Massachusetts. So we take what we can get (which is still a pretty nice showing).
If you find yourself with too many apples, don’t worry: apples refrigerate for months, and they are one fruit that can appear, sweet or savory, at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. To start, try this apple and camembert gratin that can have as few as two ingredients or as many enhancements as you see fit.
(makes one 8-inch round)
- Choose any apple but the grainiest or softest varieties.
- Core 3 or 4 apples, and slice horizontally, about ¼-inch thick
- Slice 8 ounces of camembert (or brie or sharp cheddar) to similar thickness (this is a little messy; wipe the knife often)
- Arrange one layer of apples, overlapping, in a buttered baking dish
- Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the apples, and repeat both layers twice more
- Use more cheese on the top layer
- Packing the apples tightly, with no cheese showing below, will help the gratin set the layers nicely
- You can leave as is, or sprinkle extras like bacon, sausage, sliced shallots, or sliced almonds (almonds should go on half-way through the baking)
- Bake uncovered in a 375-degree oven until the edges brown.
- Let cool a bit, then serve with a dry white wine or a Pumpkin Ale from your favorite brewer. The gratin is great alone, or with crackers or nutty whole wheat bread.