The other day I found an apple that had been forgotten in the very back of my fridge. It was either a honey crisp or an ambrosia from last year’s harvest, purchased by me at the farmer’s market. Still firm and crisp with tight rosy skin and only a few small blemishes it was perfect for tonight’s dessert. A Japanese recipe came to mind that I had wanted to try out. A few years ago I stumbled upon some cheesy but fun videos posted by the Japanese Ministry for Agriculture Forests and Fisheries. There was a video on fruit that had a few recipes in it and showed the process of apple growing in Japan (extremely labor intensive compared to local methods).
This recipe is simple and easy, and a welcome change from the usual cinnamon.
Apple Dessert with Sesame
Serves 1-2 people
1 large apple OR 1⁄2 an apple and 1⁄2 a persimmon
3 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp sugar
1⁄2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sake (I forgot to add this)
Cut the apple into batons, making sure to cut away the core. Place in a bowl of lightly salted water to prevent the apple from browning and to bring out the sweetness. In a pan over medium heat toast the sesame seeds until brown. Shake the pan so the seeds brown evenly and don’t burn. Even if your sesame seeds say they are toasted, toast them yourself and you’ll get an incredibly rich toasty aroma unlike anything. While the seeds are hot, grind them to a paste in a mortar and pestle. I used a tiny Japanese style one. Then add the sugar, soy, and sake. Drain the apples and mix with the sesame sauce. The sauce will eventually coat everything and draw out moisture from the fruit.