A late bloomer and a bit of a recluse, the Northern Spy is considered a winter apple, ready for picking in October or November, with a tart and robust flavor that only gets better in storage. It’s a particular favorite among apple-pie bakers and out-of-hand chompers alike, including Liza Queen, the chef-owner of Greenpoint’s Queen’s Hideaway, who manages to improve upon nature with the following bacon-and-chile-amped recipe.
Liza Queen’s Roasted Northern Spy Apples
2 large Northern Spy apples (available at Locust Grove Fruit Farms stand at Union Square Greenmarket)
1 small poblano pepper
2 strips good bacon
2 large sage leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
(1) Cut apples in half.
(2) With a spoon or melon baller, core out seeded part only, and place on sheet pan flesh side up.
(3) Squeeze lemon over apples. Halve and de-seed poblano pepper, and julienne as thinly as possible. Cut bacon and sage leaves into thin julienned strips. Scatter the strips of poblano, bacon, and sage leaves over apples. Drizzle with the olive oil, and season with the black pepper. Place sheet on middle oven rack and roast for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the apples. Serve as is with roast pork, or cooled and sliced in a salad, or as an appetizer with good Cheddar. Serves 4.