Fresh Spiced Apples: Great as a side or as dessert!

At a recent holiday dinner, I was looking for a good side to serve with my smoked ham.  We had previously done  Emeril’s Port Wine Cranberry SaucePioneer Woman’s Whiskey Glazed Carrots, and the Neely’s Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes with it, but because we had recently done those at other holiday parties, I wanted something different.  Since apple sauce is a classic side for pork or ham, I decided to see if I could find a fresh cooked apple recipe, and while I didn’t find any one recipe I liked entirely, I found a decent looking recipe from Tyler Florence that was a good base, and along with some others I found and a few adjustments (like trading dried cranberries for his raisins, dropping the mustard, etc.), created a recipe that sounded like it would work for me and be nice and tasty.

I have since done it multiple times, with ham, pork chops, and most recently, on my annual camp-out with  my buddies (the infamous “Hoot in the Hills’) as an accompaniment to a friend’s crown roast on the BBQ.  It may have even out-shined the roast itself, as several of my camping friends (including the crown roast cook himself) not only raved about the apples, but stood around the empty skillet afterwards dipping their fingers into the leftover sauce, to complement their Scotch!

Spiced Apples

These are some of the guys reduced to child-like, licking-the-pan leftovers after dinner!

At any rate, it is an awesome fruity side for dishes that pair well with that sort of thing, and while I haven’t yet tried it on ice cream for dessert, or on waffles or pancakes at breakfast, I’m quite confident it would be great in that role as well.

Spiced Apples

Browning the apples and thyme in butter.

Spiced Apples

Brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, lemon juice, and dried cranberries added to the apples.

Spiced Apples

Cooked down and ready to serve!

Fresh Spiced Apples
 
Weight Watchers Info: 3 PointsPlus per serving
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish, Dessert, Breakfast
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, cored, sliced, and peeled
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Whole sprigs of thyme
  • ½ Cup dried cranberries (or raisins, if you prefer)
  • ¾ Cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ Tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp ground cloves
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add apples and thyme, stirring and coating in butter until color changes (6-10 minutes).
  3. Add cranberries (or raisins), apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon juice.
  4. Simmer about 10 minutes, until apples are tender but still hold shape.
  5. Serve!
Notes
For camping, I pre-mixed the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves in a ziplock, and put the proper amount of apple juice concentrate in a tupperware ahead of time for easy packing and camp prep. I also tripled the recipe, which is what is pictured in most photos.

Spiced Apples

Served with the crown roast chops, wild rice, and asparagus on a paper plate.

Spiced Apples

Bonus picture: This is how we roll on our camping trips...