actually four apples. after not as much motivation as we thought we'd find to bake a peanut butter caramel apple pie this week, we last night went to bed with a copy of october's Gourmet to browse possible Thanksgiving recipes and by chance fell upon Claude Colliot's apple puree with crisp apple skin and spiced syrup. it's been such a warm damp week in town and we promised our grandmother an apple-based dessert for her 87th tonight; we wanted something refreshing and this was it.
four gala apples cored and quartered and cooked in sugar, the meat mashed with butter, the skin crisped in the oven with a little sugar and the cooked sugar simmered with star anise into a spicy syrup. chill one, cool one, contain one and an hour later it's dessert. we couldn't ask for an easier recipe with all the flavor of a pie minus the crust - but the butter's there - and zero waste.
it's been an easy birthday season so far, really easy since we skipped a friend's party last week, but there are two more celebrations saturday night and two more friends coming over Thanksgiving night for whom there's the promise of something sweet with a candle in it. worst case scenario, we stick one in the cranberry sauce.