3large baking (non-mealy) apples such as granny smith or honeycrisp
1cup strong wild fruit juice, such as wild grape, aronia, or wild cherry
3TBSP sweetener, such as maple, mugolio, or honey
1TBSP unsalted butter
tiny pinch Kosher salt
1teaspoon lightly toasted and crushed spicebush berries optional, a pinch of cinnamon or cloves is great too, or see my notes on other spices.
Candied, toasted nuts
Whipped creme fraiche sweetened with maple syrup or whipped cream
Preparing the apples
Take the apples, peel and half them vertically, then scoop out the seeds. You can leave the stem for looks if you like. Put the apple halves in a gallon Zip-top bag, then pour in 1 cup of strong fruit juice, such as wild grape along with the sweetener, salt, and spicebush or other seasonings.
Sous vide method
Remove air from the bag (I close the bag, then suck the air out of a corner) then put the Zip-top bag in a vacuum bag, and vacuum seal. Cook the apples using a sous-vide circulator at 165F for 1 hour, weighing them down with a plate if necessary to keep them under the water, then chill and refrigerate.
Kept in their vacuum bag, the apples will last for weeks. After the bag is opened, consume the apples within a few days.
Without sous vide
If you don't want to vacuum seal the apples, you could put the apples in a vessel they will fit in snugly, then just barely cover with the juice (it may take more than I outline here) cover with parchment, foil, and bake at 200 for 45 minutes or until barely tender, then remove, cool to room temp and refrigerate, covered until ready to serve.
Reheating and Serving
Reheating is where the magic happens. Cut open the bag and put the apples and juice in a pan wide enough so they’re in a single layer. Heat the pan (they can be baked at 350 in a baking dish too), spooning the juices over the apples as it reduces, and gradually adding a tablespoon of unsalted butter, stirring and moving the pan to help it incorporate and thicken the sauce.
When the sauce turns into a thick, shiny glaze, spoon the apples over something creamy like ice cream or yogurt, then quickly return the pan back to the heat, add some water if the sauce got thick or separated, and reheat, whisking to emulsify it an adjust it to a consistency that coats a spoon by reducing, or adding a little more water as needed. Use your intuition. When the sauce looks good to you, spoon it, piping hot over the apples and eat. Adding toasted or candied nuts is a good addition.