“…there’s more to honey than the stuff squeezed out of plastic bears.” Amen, Zingerman’s! The chestnut flower honey from Agrimontana (wow – who knew?! A Montana in Italy!) smells divine baking away with these apples stuffed with succulent dried Calimyrna figs (Bozeman people – run to get them! Co-Op bins.), apricots, cherries, and walnuts. And the taste? (It was a long hour…) …a satisfying sweet, balanced with a bitterness that takes you to the forest…something I don’t get from sugar. We’re enjoying them for dessert with a dollop of crème fraîche and I can see one becoming breakfast come morning.
Recipe for Baked Apples filled with fruits and nuts pp. 394-395, from Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan. Get the book, cook with us, and join the fun at French Fridays with Dorie!
- 4 apples
- 1 slice lemon
- 1/2 cup dried fruits, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey (try a varietal; chestnut is wonderful!)
- pinch of fleur de sel
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 2/3 cup apple juice or water (or some of each)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Core apples, being careful not to go completely through the blossom end -- you don't want all the filling to leak out. Remove peel of the upper half of each apple, using a paring knife; save the peelings. Rub the lemon slice on the exposed flesh then run the tip of your knife blade around the middle of the apple, just above the remaining peel -- this keeps the apples from bursting during baking.
- In a small bowl, mix together the dried fruits, walnuts, honey, and salt.
- Drop one piece of butter into each apple cavity, then fill with the dried fruit mixture, and top with another piece of butter. Place into an oven safe baking dish, a Pyrex pie plate works great. Add the apple juice/water, reserved apple peels, and bake for about an hour, until the apples are very tender.