While many prefer their oysters au naturel or very simply fried, there’s nothing wrong with adding a little booze to the party and heating things up. The fruity flavor of Calvados, an apple brandy from France, is the perfect light enhancement. With additional sweetness and tang from fresh grated apples (use your favorite kind), this is one hors d’oeuvre that requires all your oyster-shucking skills.
- 24 large oysters, shucked, juices and shells reserved
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
- 4 tablespoons Calvados
- 4 tablespoons dry hard cider
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 loaf brioche, sliced
- freshly ground white pepper
- Put the shucked oysters in their lower shells and place them on a baking sheet.
- To make the sauce, put the shallots, apples, Calvados and cider into a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid has reduced by three-quarters.
- Reduce the heat to low, stir in the cream and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the broiler to high. Strain the reserved oyster juices, including any juices that have collected in the lower shells, into the sauce. Stir, and as soon as the sauce starts to thicken enough to coat the back of the spoon, remove from the heat and strain.
- Spoon a little of the sauce over each oyster in the half-shell, season lightly with pepper and carefully place in the broiler pan.
- Broil the oysters for about 3 minutes, until they are just very lightly browned.
- Serve immediately with slices of brioche.