When the cookbook flipped open to this recipe, several times, I took that as a sign of serendipity and started to pay attention. Nigella Lawson calls this simply, “Vanilla Apples with Sweetheart Croutes.”
As there’s no mincing words about Nigella’s commitment to comfort food that is simultaneously easy on the cook, I decided to peruse the ingredients. I found melted butter, vanilla, apples and toasted bread. No denying those provisions would make a great dish and the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert.
Toast with butter. The ultimate comfort food that always managed to soothe my hunger pains when I was small, and still too finicky to eat what was set before me for dinner.
Here’s the ingredients for this Valentine’s Dish, which can be found in Nigella Express: Good Food, Fast:
- 4-6 tablespoons of butter
- 2 gala apples
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3 slices of bread, cut into heart shapes
- sugar for sprinkling
- Melt butter in a skillet, reserving a spoonful for later.
- Finely slice the apples, Nigella leaves the peels on. She writes that she gets 22 slices out of 2 apples, but I did not — I got much less.
- Add them to the pan and cook for about three minutes.
- Add vanilla and cook for five minutes more, turning the apples once.
- Remove the apples to a plate.
- Add the remaining spoonful of butter to the pan and fry the bread hearts, the croutes.
- Arrange the croutes on the plate with the apples and sprinkle with sugar.
- Serve with cream if you have it on hand.
There’s nothing quite like a Valentine’s Day Dessert that loves your family, and your soul, at the same time.