Fall is really here, and all those summer tomatoes, all that never-ending basil, the sweet corn…it’s all a memory now. But that’s okay, because now we have butternut squash, and pumpkin, and apples, apples, apples. And they aren’t just for dessert, no ma’am. This super-quick recipe is a luxurious tasting number that would be perfectly wonderful on a holiday table if you used a spiral cut ham…but this version uses ham steaks and therefore cooks up in about 10 minutes. The absolute longest and most challenging part is cutting up the apple (which you don’t even need to peel — we are talking coring and chopping only).
I like to get the large ham steaks — usually sold next to the bacon in the supermarket — and I cut them into quarters and pop them right into a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. They are fully cooked so you are just looking to heat them through and maybe get a little bit of brown on them. If you are feeling really feisty, you can send your significant other out into the brisk fall evening to grill them. Whatever way you choose to heat them up is just fine with me.
Meantime, you can throw together this chunky sauce in just about the amount of time it takes to heat up the ham. Chopped walnuts are browned briefly in butter, and then you quickly cook up the apples, with some dried cranberries, maple syrup and brown sugar. It all combines into a syrupy, succulent sauce that you ladle over your ham slice (here comes that sweet and salty combo that I love so much!) to make a quick and happy dinner that practically sings “Fall is here!” It’s enough to make you not even miss those summer tomatoes. Well…almost.