David Scott AllenDessertProvencal RecipesTaste

Forget Pie Try this Elegant Baked Apple Dessert

I made this recipe for a spiced baked apple dessert as a guest post for my friend Ron who writes Lost in a Pot in Sweden. I think a few of you might have seen it, but a repost seems like a good idea.

The best part? It is truly simple to prepare yet elegant dessert, I believe to be based on a recipe by Julia Child. It has become a favourite in our household, especially when half the household (of two) doesn’t really enjoy desserts. Wait, what? Please follow this link to see the Cocoa & Lavender preparation photos.

Elegant Baked Apple Dessert

Baked Spiced Apples

David Scott Allen | Cocoa & Lavender
Best served with a tiny scoop of ice cream sprinkled with a few threads. Enjoy!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people



  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • 2 packets Powdered Saffron each 0.15 grams
  • 4 medium Gala Apples
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter melted, plus extra for moulds
  • Vanilla Ice Cream for garnish
  • a few Saffron Threads for garnish


  • Centre a rack in the oven and preheat to 300°F (150°C). Generously butter four 3/4-cup ramekins. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the sugar, cardamom, and saffron in a small bowl. **
  • I like to start by making sure the diameter of the apples will fit well within the ramekins. If they seem a bit large, you can trim the apples to fit snugly. Peel the apples and cut them in half across the equator; remove the cores with a melon baller. Using a mandoline (and a Kevlar glove** to keep your fingers safe), slice the apples into 1/8-inch thick slices. Keep the slices in order so that you can reassemble the apples in the ramekins.
  • Slice by slice, put back together each apple in the ramekin, brushing each slice with some melted butter and then sprinkling it with the sugar and spice mixture. After the final slice, top each apple with a small round of parchment paper (about the diameter of the ramekin). Place each ramekin on a 9-inch x 12-inch piece of aluminium foil. Wrap the foil around the ramekins, and up and over the apples, pressing down the apples a bit, and seal the foil tightly. Put the ramekins on the parchment-lined baking sheet and poke two holes in the foil on top of each with the tip of a sharp knife.
  • Bake for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (I made these ahead in the morning and let them sit at room temperature all day.)
  • To serve, warm the ramekins in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes to reactivate the buttery apple juices. Remove the foil and the small disk of parchment. Use a thin flexible spatula to loosen the sides and bottom, then turn out onto a serving plate. Some of the spice-infused butter will be left behind in each ramekin; drizzle it over the apples.


** Notes:
  • If you do not have powdered saffron, you can pulverize 1 teaspoon of saffron threads to make about 1/8 teaspoon of powdered saffron.
  • You may have leftover spiced sugar — it is wonderful sprinkled on buttered toast!
  • If you are unfamiliar with Kevlar gloves, they save the tips of your fingers from being sliced into your dinner. You can find them online.
Keyword Apples, Fruit
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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