Braised Vanilla Apples

Serves 8

6 large apples, cored, peeled and cut into quarters
1 vanilla bean, split into 4 pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup rum

Place the apple quarters in a heavy sauté pan. Add the vanilla bean pieces and sprinkle the sugar on top. Add the water and the rum. Cook covered over low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the fruit is very soft, about 20 minutes. Transfer the apples to a serving platter and pour the syrup on top, removing the vanilla bean pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.
(Rebecca Ets-Hokin)