Manzanas con Cajeta y Nuez
This is not so much a recipe, but a simple preparation that makes for a delicious Autumn dessert. Pecans and cajeta go so well together. I was first introduced to the combination when Emma and I were in Valle de Bravo last January. My aunt Lupita (whose new nickname is Guadalajira) taught us a simple dessert, which was just campechanas topped with vanilla ice cream, cajeta, and pecans. Campechanas in Valle are flaky and crunchy pastries similar in texture to a baked puffed pastry or phyllo. The word “campechana” is used for other foods in other areas. Although it is so easy to put together, the dish feels like one of the most indulgent things you can allow yourself. And you should indeed allow yourself!
Because I don’t want to put together such an indulgent dessert if I am eating alone, I came up with something a little lighter, but to the same effect. All this preparation requires is thinly sliced apples (I prefer green varieties like Ginger Golds or Granny Smiths) topped with cajeta and toasted pecans. You will need 1 apple for 2 people, 2 tablespoons of cajeta (max!), and 2 tablespoons of nuts. Each ingredient goes a long way. It is as simple as it looks, but there are a few things I should mention. Apples turn brown if they are cut and left out. So if you are going to make this for anyone but yourself, be sure to slice them right before serving, or keep them in water with a few squeezes of lemon juice in the fridge. Toast the pecans an allow them to cool before chopping them up. They will not be as crunchy and provide a nice textural difference to the cajeta if you chop them right after toasting, or if you don’t toast at all.
I love the crunch of the fresh apples, which is slightly sweet and slightly sour. The cajeta is what makes this dessert, as it is rich and indulgent, but a little goes a long way. And the nuts add more crunch and depth to this. You will love this simple preparation with Fall’s favorite fruit!