Thanksgiving is a tricky holiday for me when it comes to desserts. My family wants traditional desserts, but I find them boring and want something new.
We've finally figured out a good compromise. My sister-in-law makes the pies, which she's really good at, and that frees me up to make something different.
That something - which can work for a sweet snack earlier in the day, for the meal itself or for later in the long holiday weekend - often includes apples.
Lately, I've been roasting them. I got the idea from the savory chefs at Farallon . They toss potatoes lightly with olive oil and salt and spread them in a single layer on a hot baking pan. Cooking them on a preheated pan gives them added crispness and color.
I thought why not take this into my pastry world and apply the same principles with apples with sugar?
To find which apples would work best, I tested nine varieties: SweeTango, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Ambrosia, Braeburn, Pinata, Pink Lady, Gala and Honey Crisp. While they all tasted good, their flavor varied, and I found the Ambrosia, Braeburn, Pinata, Pink Lady and Honey Crisp the best for my recipes. These bright red apples also looked the best once baked.