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Toasts with Ricotta and Warm Balsamic-Caramel Apples

Photo: Antonis Achilleos
Total time 30 mins
Yield 6
New York City chef April Bloomfield will publish her memoir and cookbook, tentatively titled A Girl and Her Pig, in 2012. It will feature recipes from her three restaurants, including The Spotted Pig, many of them combining hot and cold ingredients. The chilled ricotta served over warm apples here expresses her style and makes an amazingly fast dessert.

Ingredients

  • 6 3/4-inch-thick slices of white bakery bread or pain de mie
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 large) Granny Smith apples , —peeled, cored and cut into think wedges
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup chilled ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped marcona almonds

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the broiler. Brush the bread with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter. Broil the bread 4 inches from the heat for 1 minute, turning once, until browned. Transfer to plates.

  2. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Add the apples and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the apples are tender and the sauce is syrupy, about 4 minutes.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the apples over the toasts and dollop the ricotta cheese on top. Drizzle with the balsamic-caramel syrup and sprinkle with the almonds. Cut each toast in half and serve right away.