We've incorporated the juniper berries used for hundreds of years by Native Americans, plus cloves, allspice, cinnamon and orange zest for a spiced glaze that will permeate through these poached apples. Valued by Native Americans, juniper berries were used medicinally for arthritis and rheumatism and for detoxification as a diuretic, with antiseptic properties. While we’re not sure about the medicinal properties, we do know that poaching these apples with juniper berries and these spices makes the room smell incredible.
Poaching the Apples
Poaching is basically just gentle, stove top cooking. It's a straightforward, fairly hands off cooking technique, and a perfect way to make use of and give flavor to winter fruit like apples and pears. Choosing firm apples that will hold their form while poaching is important- we particularly love using Fuji & Braeburn apples. Making these ahead of time is never a bad idea- the longer the apples sit in the flavorful syrup after poaching, the better they’ll taste. You can also customize these poached apples to taste. Swap in sweeteners like honey or agave if you'd prefer to cut out sugar. Make sure the apples are fully immersed in liquid while poaching, to ensure they are evenly and thoroughly cooked.
Reducing to a Glaze
Reducing to a glaze or syrup essentially means simmering your liquid until it reduces by roughly 3/4.
juniper berries have a particularly strong flavor. We’ve incorporated juniper berries into the ground spice mix and have just cracked them so they release their strong flavor slowly.
1. Peel and core the apples and cut into quarters; set aside.
2. Combine wine, sugar,lemon juice, RawSpiceBar’s juniper berries and spices pouch, and 2 cups water in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. 3. Add apples; reduce heat to low and simmer, occasionally rotating apples, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 25–30 minutes. 4. Remove apples from pot, transfer to a plate and set aside.
Reduce to a glaze:
1. Strain out the spices from the poaching liquid and discard.
2. Add the liquid back to the pot and bring to a slow simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until poaching liquid reduces by roughly 3/4, about 15-25 minutes minutes (syrup will also thicken as it cools).