According to Celtic legend, an Irish prince, Connla of the Fiery Hair, lost his heart to a beautiful faerie maiden who arrived on the Irish shore in a gleaming crystal boat. She beckoned him to join her on a voyage to a magical island where winter never came and where youth and love lasted forever. Connla’s father had a spell cast on the faerie to make her disappear from his son’s life, but, just as she was about to vanish, the faerie threw Connla an apple. Smart faerie.
Connla bit into the apple and fell in love.
Magically, each time he finished one of the faerie’s apples, a new one appeared and sustained him for a month until the beautiful faerie returned. In the end, Connla and the faerie beauty sailed away toward the setting sun in her crystal boat.
Bottom line, eat your apples. Who knows? Good stuff could happen. I’m picturing Robert Redford of the Fiery Hair and a cool crystal boat.
To get you started, here is my adaptation of a recipe for Hasselback Apples which appeared in the September 2015 issue of Cooking Light Magazine. Cooking Light runs a monthly feature on its back page that showcases a special recipe. The feature is titled “Wow! You’ve got to try this” and is accompanied by a spectacular food shot.
Who could resist giving a recipe with that kind of billing a second look? Not me.
A link to the original Hasselback Apple recipe appears at the bottom of this post. The Cooking Light link includes a great short video showing the preparation and baking of the apples.
Recipe: Hasselback Apples
2 large and firm apples (peeled, cored, and halved vertically)
4 T. brown sugar (divided)
2 1/2 T. butter (melted and divided)
3/4 t. ground cinnamon (divided)
2 T. old-fashioned rolled oats (uncooked)
1 t. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 1/2 C. vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel and core apples and slice them in half vertically. I used Pink Lady apples. The larger the apples the better for this recipe. Larger apples make a better presentation on your plate. Cut 1/8 inch slices through most but not all of each apple half. Be careful to keep enough un-sliced apple at the bottom to keep the apple together as you work with it and cook it. Cut sides down, place apples in a glass cooking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Combine 1 T. brown sugar, 1 T. melted butter, and 1/2 t. cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush this mixture over the prepared apples. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. or until the apples are tender. My apples took a little longer.
Remove the foil from the dish of baked apples, return to the oven and cook at 400 degrees F. for 10 more minutes.
Take pan from the oven and let the apples cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining 3 T. brown sugar, 1 1/2 T. melted butter, remaining 1/4 t. cinnamon, oats, flour and salt. (At this point, you can refrigerate the apples until you plan to serve them.)
Once your apples have cooled, you will be able to gently fan the slices apart so that you will be able to spoon the sugar-oat mixture into the crevices and across the tops of the apples. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes. At the end of ten minutes, turn your oven broiler on high and broil the pan of apples for about 2 minutes.
Serve with ice cream.
Here is a link to a more complete version of the Connla tale:
Here is the link to the original Cooking Light recipe for Hasselback Apples: