When friends initially reviewed my mammoth list of potential Thanksgiving foods, this was a dish that made many people’s favorites. Though it certainly sounds enticing, when preparing it, I found the keys to making this dish go from “sounding good” to actually being delicious.
The most important thing of all is not to let the onions and apples burn or dry out. Properly preparing the baking dish is one piece of this puzzle, but the glaze is the other. Re-glazing halfway through the cooking process is one of the best ways to combat a dry final product, while re-spraying the cookie sheets will also help prevent sticking and charring.
Serves: 8 (as side dish)
Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes (30 minutes active time)
Adapted from November 2009 Bon Appetit
- 6 medium onions
- 6 red apples
- 1 package of fresh thyme leaves
- apple cider
- cooking spray or spray olive oil
- Boil (do not simmer!) 4 cups apple cider until reduced to almost half a cup. This can take quite a while and is worth doing the night before if possible.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Prepare onions but cutting off the tops and bottoms, then cutting in half from top through to bottom.
- Remove onion skins and cut each half into 4-6 wedges.
- Place sliced onions in a bowl and set aside.
- Prepare apples but cutting each into 6-8 wedges. You can peel them if a mushier, “cleaner” looking final product is desired, but the skin is quite healthy, and it is better to leave it on.
- Place sliced apples on a bowl.
- Once cider has reduced, mix in 3 tablespoons butter and a large dash of salt.
- Chop thyme leaves and separate into two equal piles.
- Split the cider glaze into two equal portions and mix a batch of thyme into each.
- Spray two rimmed backing sheets with cooking spray or oil.
- Add half of one portion of glaze to both the apples and the onions and mix to coat.
- Spread the apples on one cooking sheet, and the onions on the other.
- Set the onions on the top rack in the oven and the apples on the bottom and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove the sheets in the oven, scoop the apples and onions back into their original bowls, and coat them with the remaining glaze.and sprinkle each with the remaining glaze in the process.
- Re-spray the cooking sheets and re-place the apples and onions on their respective sheets.
- Switching the position of the sheets (apples on top, onions below), cook the apples and onions for twenty minutes more.
- Raise oven temperature to 475 and cook for another 5-10 minutes, but do not allow the apples and onions to char.
- When they have finished cooking, scrape apples and onions into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.