During the height of pie-making season (read: now), you'll find plenty of apples tucked into buttery crusts. But there's another easy technique that amps up the fruit's flavor. Poaching—simmering apples (or pears) in spiced liquid until they're soft and aromatic—helps round out the texture and flavor of the fruit and makes for a beautiful presentation.
It's a favored method for Kelly Fields, pastry chef at August in New Orleans. She simmers a variety of apples in cranberry juice, then serves them with gingerbread-like pain d'épices, persimmon and pink peppercorn ice cream. Even if your version isn't quite so refined, fruit poaching is still easy to execute at home: In a pot or deep saucepan, bring your poaching liquid (anything from juice to wine) to a boil, then reduce the heat and flavor the liquid with sugar and earthy spices like nutmeg and clove to taste. read full article