Food You Can Eat: Dan Rowan’s Baked Apples Cointreau and Julia Child’s Baked Apricots (Fantaisie Bourbonnaise)

A baked apple topped with Cointreau a day will keep the doctor...very busy

Image via (? I'm not joking.)

I certainly have baked a lot of fruit in my time, looking back on it.

The Baked Apples:

Over the weekend I got a call from Forager-in-Chief. He was in the supermarket and for some reason it was like he was in an apple orchard, so abundant was the supply. “What should I get?” “Let me call you back. This will only take a minute.”

From the pile of recipes built up over 30+ years (I’ve been foraging myself to keep up with my FYCE quota) I pulled out Dan Rowan’s recipe for Baked Apples Cointreau. It’s been a while since I’ve made these. This is not even from the Sinatra Celebrity Cookbook; I have long had a slight obsession with celebrity recipes. Dan Rowan was the Rowan in Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. This is very easy.

Cut the tops off 4 Red Golden Delicious Apples. Core but do not peel them. Make a mixture of “a handful” of raisins, the grated jest of one small orange [Dan says 1 tsp. but this is what I do], the grated jest of one small lemon [my addition], a little orange juice, and a couple of shakes from the cinnamon in your spice rack.

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Put the apples in a muffin tin, they should fit in the cups of one that’s made for six. If the tin is not non-stick you can spray it if you want but I don’t. 

* If your apples won’t fit in the muffin tin, stand them up in a baking dish filled with maybe 1/4” or less of water. Dan doesn’t mention this method but I’ve resorted to it.

Fill each apple with the mixture and bake for about 25 or 30 minutes (for me) “until the skin begins to break.” More importantly, you want the apples to be creamy, so you can test this with a fork.

Remove from the oven. Now, and this is completely optional, spoon a very little Cointreau over each one. You can serve like that or, best of all, Dan says to add the Cointreau and “ignite to flame.” Yes, this is another flambéed recipe and of course I must. Put them in a frying pan or a skillet. The flames should go out pretty quickly. Maybe have a home fire extinguisher handy I suppose but I’ve not had to resort to one, not yet anyway. This also doesn’t create enough smoke to set off a fire alarm, at least not ours.

Let them cool for a little bit and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.


The Baked Apricots:

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9″ round baking dish (I cheated and used an 8 X 8). Sprinkle in 3 tbsp. brown sugar and 3 tbsp. chopped peanuts. Arrange the contents of a 16-oz. can (! But this is a Julia Child recipe!) of drained apricot halves around the outside. JC is vague about this but I put them cut side up. In the middle, add 1 peeled and sliced banana. Grate the rind of a 1 large lemon over the fuit and then squeeze it’s juice all over. Next, pour over 1/4 cup bourbon. Surprisingly, and this is again going off-script, you don’t do this because you’re going to flambé the fruit. Sprinkle on another 3 tbsp. of brown sugar and another 3 tbsp. of chopped peanuts. “Dot” this as best you can with about 1 tbsp of butter. Put in the top third of the oven for 50–60 minutes (mine took more like 45) until the sugar is lightly browned (but the sugar is already brown? You’ll see, it changes color) and the liquid is reduced to a syrup.



  1. I’m surprised Julia Child only used a 1/4 cup of booze on hers.

    • Pretty sure I know where the other 3/4 cup went….


      • The only time I’ll ever use the names Julia Child and Sandra Lee together:

        If I had Handsy living in my house I’d drink like that too.

        Speaking of, BREAKING: The New York State Ethics Panel has ruled that he has to give back the $5.1 million in proceeds from his ghost-written book Personal Crisis: Send Me The Blonde From The Department of Labor’s Check Processing Unit, You Know The One I Mean. Handsy’s lawyer has responded that if the State tries to enforce this he’ll see them in court.

        This is actually fantastic news because the State AG has decided not to run for Governor after all and she is almost assured to win re-election. It was her report(s) that brought down Emperor Andreus Marcus Maximus in the first place, and she has been subjected to non-stop garbage from the Cuomo Camp, population about 4 at this point, ever since.

        I can’t wait for the discovery phase of any lawsuit they might bring. Depose, depose, and depose again. Emails, so many emails, and to so many people.

    • I was more concerned about the canned apricots, but actually that makes sense, since it was from an era where every single, edible thing on earth wasn’t available 12 months a year, having been shipped in from thousands of miles away.

      The shockingly tiny amount of bourbon has to do with this being kind of a glaze/coating, no doubt. She probably has a recipe for an apricot compote somewhere (and therefore, I probably do too in book form from her) and I bet she’s far more generous with the keys to the liquor cabinet.

      • Do you think she bothered to lock it? I have this idea that she and Paul had an open front and liquor cabinet door policy for friends, neighbors, book agents, the mailman….

        • That’s a good point. The Childs were childless so there was no fear of a four-year-old guzzling the bourbon and wasting it. Since she and Paul were so busy she probably employed a domestic or two but I would like to think she was a generous employer. Since she herself did hard manual labor (that’s what some of her recipes require, especially the older ones) surely she wouldn’t begrudge “the daily” a glass or three as she went about her work.

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