Poached Apples with Custard
4 large red skinned apples eg. Pink Lady or Star King apples
3 cups (750 ml) ginger beer
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise (optional)
a squeeze of lemon juice
Using an apple corer, core each apple.
Using a vegetable knife, remove a 1 cm wide strip of peel from the top of each apple.
Remove any remaining skin around the bottom cored area and slash the skin only from top to bottom.
In a small heavy pot, arrange the apples upside down, in a single layer.
Add the ginger beer, cinnamon stick and star anise if using.
Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes.
Turn the apples over, cover, and cook for another 8 – 10 minutes (depending on size).
Simmer just until the apples are tender when pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife.
Transfer the apples to pudding bowls and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, bring the cooking liquid to a boil over high heat, add a squeeze of lemon juice and cook, uncovered, until syrupy and reduced to about 2 cups. Keep testing, for the right level of sweetness.
Pour the reduced syrup around the apples. Serve with vanilla custard.