Whenever I hear someone make the claim that an allergy-friendly version of something is “better than the original” I tend to roll my eyes. “I just have them wrap my burger with lettuce – you don’t even miss the bun!!” Nobody believes you, sit down.
But after years of having to navigate various food allergies for me, my wife, or my kids, I’ve realized that some things you compromise on, but others actually can be better than the original you’ve always enjoyed. Enter, this caramel sauce.
I kid you not, the caramel in this dish is as good as any you’ve ever tasted, so much easier to make than traditional caramel, and exactly zero people eating it will feel like it’s been adjusted for a diet of any kind. With the combination of rosemary, apples, & spices, this is an amazing fall dessert you can serve to just about anyone, without fear of allergies or leftovers.
Rosemary Caramel Baked Apples (gluten free, dairy free, grain free, vegan)
- 1 19oz can coconut cream Mae Ploy brand if you can
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg fresh ground if you can
- 2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary small sprigs, about 2in long each
- 8 apples cored
- flake salt
- 2/3 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut cream, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Tie the rosemary sprigs up so the needles won't fall off during cooking and add them to the mix. Pour it all into a medium pan on medium heat and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes until it reduces by about 1/4.
- Put the apples in a casserole dish and pour the hot caramel over top (space the rosemary sprigs out around the dish so they aren't on top of the apples). Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Open the oven, spoon some of the caramel sauce over top all of the apples, and close the oven door. Bake for 15 more minutes.
- During the last 15 minutes of baking, roughly chop the walnuts and almonds and toast in a dry pan with a sprig of rosemary. Toss around until the nuts become fragrant and begin to brown. Remove from pan.
- Remove the apples from the oven. Place each one on a plate, spoon some of the caramel over each and top with walnuts and a sprinkle of flake sea salt.