Peel and core the apples. Cut each into 12 wedges. Set aside.
Melt butter in a 12-inch broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Using the tip of a knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the skillet. Toss the bean in, too. (If using vanilla paste or extract, add at this time.) Add apples; sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until apples are deeply golden and tender. Remove vanilla bean.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, whip cream to soft peaks. Keep chilled.
Heat 1 inch of water in bottom of a double boiler; bring just to a simmer. In top of double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt; add wine and whisk continuously until mixture is thickened and has doubled in volume (do not boil), 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk 1 minute to set and cool. Fold in whipped cream until just combined. (The cream may deflate a bit.)
Spoon cream mixture over apples in the skillet (or arrange apples in 6 individual broiler-safe gratin dishes). Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until topping begins to turn golden (watch carefully!). Serve immediately.


5 Gala apples (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup sparkling wine, such as Prosecco

Vanilla Apple Gratin 

6 servings 491 cal.

Prep. 25 min. Ready in 40 min.

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Servings Per Recipe 6, chol. (mg) 114, Fat, total (g) 10, carb. (g) 27, calcium (mg) 35, sat. fat (g) 6, sodium (mg) 71, Potassium (mg) 189, Folate (µg) 18, cal. (kcal) 202, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0, Niacin (mg) 0, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, Thiamin (mg) 0, Riboflavin (mg) 0, iron (mg) 1, vit. C (mg) 7, pro. (g) 2, sugar (g) 21, vit. A (IU) 470, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, Monounsaturated fat (g) 3, fiber (g) 4, Trans fatty acid (g) 0

This simple, orchard-fresh dessert captures the flavor of vanilla ice cream melting into the warm apples in a pie—but more quickly, and with way less fat and sugar.