I came across this recipe when I was trying to fit a challenge brief. The challenge was “confit” and I was struggling to wrap my mind around what that meant in a vegetarian context. My limited experience with the term “confit” included mostly duck. Duck leg confit made with duck fat seemed to me the ultimate luxury, given how people romanticize it. With that on my mind, I felt for sure I was going to fail this brief, until I happened upon apple confit.
After doing a little research, it came to my attention that to “confit” something just meant to cook it low and slow in fat. So how could this apple confit recipe I found be considered confit?? It involved no fat whatsoever. So I did even MORE research, just to find that the term “confit” has been bastardized to mean cooking anything low and slow, in fat or sugar, without necessarily preserving it. See, aside from the fat, preservation was the name of the game with the process of confit. Cooking something in so much fat (and later sugar, for fruit) eliminated the oxygen that bacteria needed to grow and prosper. Therefore it became an early preservation technique!
I read many warnings in the beginning of my research about botulism stemming from inadequate garlic confit storage (yes, you can confit garlic – apparently it is AMAZING). Again, botulism isn’t something I’m familiar with but it’s a term I generally associate with bad health, death, etc etc. All things to avoid. So to prevent any danger of botulism, because I am not a food scientist and don’t really know proper canning techniques (see my Lyutenitsa recipe for something you can preserve if you know the proper technique), I chose a non-preservative method of confit.
Apple confit is in essence baked apples. You know those mushy, fall-apart, delicious cinnamon-flavored delights that you get at Cracker Barrel? Don’t act like y’all are too good to eat at a Cracker Barrel. These are that, but with the flavor amped up a little with the addition of some ginger and clove. This recipe couldn’t be easier, which is why I’m filling up this space with nonsense rather than technique. I’ve still got to make my Google word count, but I don’t have much advice on how not to screw this recipe up, because… you can’t. You literally slice the apples, toss them in a slow cooker with sugar and spice and everything nice, and set it on low for a few hours. Then boom – magic happens and you get rewarded with a dessert topping in the end. You’re welcome.
Serve these on ice cream, on a cake, on a pie, on any dessert really (like my Apple Pie Cheesecake perhaps). Or, if you’re ~healthy~ for whatever reason, add them to your oatmeal in the morning for a delicious burst of flavor and nutrients. Yes, apples still have nutrients, even when cooked down to death in sugar. I’d swear by it. Since these apples aren’t preserved, store them in the fridge for 5-7 days and make sure they disappear before then!
I hope you enjoy this simple, down-to-Earth recipe. It’s a nice break to make something easy when I’m usually challenging myself to do things I’ve never done before. Speaking of which, I’ll be back on my BS soon with something a bit more out-of-the-box. Until then, here’s to good drinking, great eating, and even better living!
- Slow cooker
- 3 lbs apples (I used envy, but any sturdy baking apple will do such as granny smith)
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 1/8 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch ground nutmeg
- pinch ground ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Slice the apples, making sure not to get any seeds. Peel first if you desire, but I left it on because I can't be bothered with all that. Place them in your slow cooker and cover with sugar and spices, holding back the vanilla extract.
- Cook on low for 4 hours, until the apples are tender but not completely falling apart. Stir in the vanilla extract. Serve over a bowl of ice cream or on top of a cake. Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.