OVENBAKED BARLEY APPLES WITH BAY LEAF & VANILLA SUGAR
I’m really into certain scents, for example I always stick my nose into a newly opened coffee bag and inhale like an addict, there’s something special there that gets lost almost immediately so I have to be very fast. The same goes for crushed basil leaves, ground cardamom, fresh ginger and bay leaves just to mention a few of my scent addictions. Lately I’m having a special fling with bay leaves, fresh ones that is, that sweet slightly spicy scent that attaches itself to your fingers when you crush them in your hands is heavenly. Now scents always makes me want to catch them or at least combine them with something that makes them edible so the other day I decided to make some Bay leaf and Vanilla sugar so that I could make baked apples with that particular flavour. So I did and when I was thinking about what to add to the apples, my eyes fell on the cooked barley that I was going to add to the bread I was making so I decided to use it with the apples too. I can recommend that because the chewier texture of the barley contrasts nicely with the softness of the baked apple slices but if you put the barley on top like I did, be careful not to let it brown or dry out because it gets so hard! Maybe it would be better to put it between two layers of apple slices instead!
This is my entry for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, this fortunate creation of Kalyn that is hosted by Katie on her inspiring food blog Thyme For Cooking this week! Thanks to both of you for the trouble you are taking with this!
BAY LEAF AND VANILLA SUGAR
200 ml sugar
Fresh bay leaves, I used maybe 7-8 leaves
1 vanilla pod
– Put the sugar and the bay leaves in a mixer or blender and add the vanilla seeds that you scrape out of the pod.
– Run it all until the leaves have disintegrated and become one with the sugar.
– Smell the bounty.
OVEN-BAKED BARLEY APPLES WITH BAY LEAF & VANILLA SUGAR
Apples, I peel mine but you can do as you choose
Bay leaf and vanilla sugar
Butter, preferably salted
– Peel and slice the apples.
– Put one layer of them in an oven-proof dish, sprinkle sugar on them and then cover with cooked barley, not too much but not too little either (that’s really a professional recipe direction isn’t it? but I trust your instincts!) .
– Add another layer of apple slices on top of it, sprinkle more sugar and then put small pats of butter evenly over the surface.
– Bake in 175°C/347°F until soft and a little golden.