True story: I love apples. I eat one everyday. I especially love them with peanut butter. If I ever come to visit and am there for a breakfast don't worry about going to a whole bunch of fuss to put together a meal. I'm quite content with a cup of coffee and an apple with peanut butter. Seriously.
Therefore it should come as no surprise that when apple season rolls around I am an especially happy camper. The farmers markets are flooded around here with so many different varieties. At the market closest to my house they will have at least 20 different varieties in peak season. My absolute favorite variety is called the Nittany apple, which is a cross between a golden delicious and a York apple. It's flesh is crisp and has just the right balance of sweet and tart. The Nittany's are a mid-late season apple and are really only around for the month of October. I eat as many as I can.
OK so now we know, I like apples. Time to move on. One of my favorite things to do with apples is to core them and stuff them with some sort of oat, fruit, and nut mixture, and then bake the whole thing till it's soft and yummy. I can eat apples this way for dessert or breakfast depending on what I stuff them with. This year I had a thought...what if instead of stuffing them with a sweet stuffing I made a savory stuffing? Then I could serve them for dinner too.
This brings us to the another fall food that I love...stuffing. I love bread in all forms and stuffing definitely makes the cut for the top 10. Although I have a love of all stuffing of the non boxed variety, my favorite is a sausage cornbread stuffing. It makes me gleek when I think about it. Just so you don't think that gleeking is some risque sort of a thing here is the definition:
Gleek (according to the Urban Dictionary):
Building up saliva in the salivary glands using some stimulus, like sour food or yawning, and then pressing the tongue upon the glands, causing the saliva to shoot out, usually at an impressive distance.
I bet you didn't know there was a term for that did you?? OK maybe you did, moving on...
I figured it would be worth a try to combine the two and see where I ended up. I already had some cornbread that was leftover from a chili I had made over the weekend, and wouldn't you know it was just the right amount for a 1/2 batch of cornbread stuffing. I really like Anne Burrell's recipe for Sausage cornbread stuffing. It's really easy to pull together and is just what I'm thinking of when it comes to cornbread stuffing. Should I say cornbread stuffing again or would that be too much?
This time around I cut her recipe in half. Then I made the following substitutions:
- I changed the 1/2lb. of spicy sausage to 1/4lb. of Canadian bacon and 1/4lb. of good pepperoni, both with a 1/4 inch dice.
- I changed the 1 cup of dried cranberries to 1 cup of dried cherries.
Everything else stayed the same. I only used four apples which left me with a bunch of leftover stuffing. I don't consider this to be a problem. I cooked it separately and put it aside for a dinner later on in the week.
For the apples I used four large apples. I chose varieties whose flesh was slightly crisp but would still do well for baking. I ended up with two over sized honey crisp apples and two large golden delicious.
Savory Roasted Apples
(serves four with a bunch of leftover stuffing)
- 1/2 recipe of Anne Burrell's sausage cornbread stuffing
- 4 very large apples
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- 1/4 cup of apple cider
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Make sausage stuffing and set aside.
- Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each apple so they are sturdy and sit up straight. Your apples need to have good posture to make it through the baking process without falling over.
- Score once around the middle of each apple. This will limit the amount of bursting that your apple does while it's baking.
- Slice off the very top of each apple and then core them. I find that a melon baller works best for this job. Just be careful not to go through the side or bottom of the apple. I find leaving 1/3- 1/2 and inch of flesh works the best.
- Melt the butter in an oven-proof skillet. Add the apples stem-side down and cook them until the surface is browned. This will take 2-4 minutes.
- Once browned flip the apples and spoon in the filling inside until it is slightly mounded. The amount of filling that you get in each apple will depend on the size of the apple.
- Pour the chicken broth and the apple cider into the bottom of the skillet.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted goes in easy. Baste the apples after the first 10 minutes.
- Pour the skillet juices over the apples and serve warm.
*Get a printable version of this recipe here*
Verdict? This meal was a success. I know this because everyone was "ummm"-ing throughout the meal. Naiya said I should blog it, so I did. I think this would also be a really cute way to serve stuffing at thanksgiving.