A big thanks to Andy Deas – coach at NorCal Strength & Conditioning and the co-conspirator on Robb Wolf’s weekly Paleo Solution podcast – for the inspiration on this awesome dessert. Back in Episode 30, Andy had mentioned a similar “concoction” that he had tried, with a few less ingredients and a couple different steps that yielded a chilled smooth apple pudding. It sounded both intriguing and tasty.
Fall, however, has set in here in the PNW, and things are getting chilly outside. We’ve got the fireplace going more often in the evenings and the mornings now, and the prospect of a chilled dessert just doesn’t have the same allure as it does on a hot summer night. That, and the necessity to chill things overnight just doesn’t lend itself to a spur-of-the-moment snack. So, I set out to make a few changes, and here is the result…
- 2 fresh apples – any variety will do, but I went for the light sweetness of Gala
- 1 can coconut milk (not the lite stuff)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
- ~1/8 cup raisins (small handful)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- dash of nutmeg (not shown)
Core and slice the apples into ~10 slices each. If you’ve got one of these handy gadgets, this takes not time at all. If not, you can go about it the “old fashioned” way. You could remove the skins if you want – I prefer to leave them on to add another level of texture to the dish.
Melt the coconut oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Put in the apple slices and sauté until they soften and to start to carmelize a bit on the edges, and the skins turn a little translucent. Resist the urge to just dive in and eat these like they are – it’s tempting, but what’s coming is even better!
Remove the pan from the heat and then pour in the coconut milk (make sure to get all of it). Sprinkle in the raisins, vanilla, and cinnamon. Turn the burner down to medium-low and put the pan back on it, uncovered. Bring it to a simmer, then adjust the heat as needed to maintain a very low simmer.
After 5 minutes or so, you can stir everything up, making sure the apples are well immersed in the coconut milk. Continue to simmer uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes – until a fork held on the surface of one of the apple slices will almost push through the apple under it’s own weight (in other words, they are very soft but not mush). At this point, the coconut milk will have thickened up quite a bit as well.
Allow to cool for a just a couple of minutes. Serve warm with a dash of fresh-grated nutmeg over the top, making sure to get a couple of raisins in each dish. At four slices per serving, this will give you five servings, and leftovers (if there are any) are equally good chilled as they are re-heated for about 45 seconds in the microwave. The skins on the whole apple slices can present a little bit of a challenge when eating this with a spoon – but that’s part of the fun… Enjoy!