Our annual pilgrimage to the Granite Belt for New Year’s always inspires me to cook, as our dear friends who live there love food, own a winery, and are great fun to be with. The area is the main stone fruit and apple growing area in Queensland, and so apples, plums, peaches and cherries are all on offer from orchard stalls. This recipe brings together caramel and apples, with the earthy aromas of rosemary, which add savoury notes to the overt sweetness of the dish. They must be eaten hot, when the caramel is at its most unctuous and the apples soft, yet holding their shape, and are excellent on their own or with thin cream or vanilla ice cream on top.
4 large, red eating apples (Pink Lady would be my first choice)
2/3 cup caster sugar
juice of 1 lemon
7cm piece of fresh rosemary
Core, halve, and slice the apples into wedges (8 per apple) and put into a bowl with the lemon juice. Toss to cover the apples and prevent them from browning. Heat the butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until it starts to bubble. Tumble in the apples and the rosemary and add a tiny pinch of salt. Sprinkle over the sugar and cook until the apples are soft but still holding their shape and the caramel a dark golden brown. Remove the rosemary and serve immediately with the caramel poured over the apples.