---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
  
       Title: Apples in Gilded Cages
  Categories: Pies, Low-cal
       Yield: 6 Servings
  
       6 md Apples
            -preferably Golden Delicious
       3 c  Water, to 4 c
       2 tb Sugar
            Strip of orange rind
            -about 2 inches long
       2 ts Vanilla
       1 ts Cornstarch
       1 ts Apple brandy
       1 ts Apple jelly
            -(not mint-flavored)
            Pastry Dough
            -see recipe
       2 tb Evaporated milk
       3    Candied cherries; cut in
            -half; optional garnish <OR>
            Fresh green leaves; optional
  
   Pour 3 cups of water into an enameled or stainless-steel skillet, add the
   sugar, orange rind, and vanilla, and bring to the boiling point. Cover the
   skillet, reduce the heat, and allow the syrup to simmer. Meanwhile, peel
   the apples, leaving the stems intact and cutting off a thin slice from the
   bottom so they will stand up securely. Add the fruit to the syrup, which
   should reach a level securely. Add the fruit to the syrup, which should
   reach a level halfway to two-thirds up the sides of the apples; if it
   doesn't, add more water. Cover the skillet and gently poach the apples
   until they are just soft when pierced with a small, sharp knife, about 20
   minutes; turn them a few times during the cooking. Lift the apples out of
   the syrup with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain and cool.
   
   During this time the sauce can be prepared. Measure 1 cup of the cooking
   syrup into a small pot. Mix 1 tablespoon of water into the cornstarch in a
   small bowl or cup and stir into the cooking syrup. Place on medium heat and
   add apple brandy and apple jelly. Cook until the sauce is slightly
   thickened, about the consistency of light cream. Remove from the heat and
   cool.
   
   Preheat the oven to 400.
   
   Roll out the Pastry Dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. With a 3- or 3
   1/2-inch round scalloped cookie cutter, stamp out 6 circles and place them
   on a baking sheet. Place a well-drained apple on each circle. Cut the
   remaining dough with a fluted pastry wheel into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Cut
   the strips into 3- ro 4-inch lengths, depending on the height of the
   apples. Place 4 strips on each apple, lengthwise from the stem to the
   bottom. Tuck the bottom end of each strip under the apple and press the
   fruit onto it. Wherever the pastry strips touch, wet the edges with water
   and press lightly. If the stems are long enough, wind the ends of the
   pastry strips around them. If you like, gather up the remaining dough, roll
   out again, fashion into leaf shapes, and fasten them to the top. With a
   pastry brush, paint all the dough with the evaporated milk. Bake for 10 to
   15 minutes, or until the pastry turns a dark golden color.
  
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