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October 26, 2011

Baked Apples with Savory Stuffing

baked apples wth savory stuffing

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my mom shouting at my brother, “That’s NOT FULLY COOKED, you’re gonna get sick!” while he’s hunched over the refrigerator door, grabbing a spoonful of uncooked stuffing. I can’t really blame him for wanting to eat it uncooked; our mom really does make the most incredible sausage & chestnut stuffing.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

These baked apples taste just like Thanksgiving except my mom isn’t in the background shouting at me for getting into them. The filling of sausage, celery, herbs & onions remind me of her stuffing, but the apples add a nice sweet/tang to round out the flavor. I love how the tops of each apple overflow with crispy golden bread and browned sausage thanks to the teamwork of small dabs of butter and a hot oven. It’s like I just faked a Thanksgiving dinner on an average October weeknight. You gotta love that.

And we’re off!

Get your ingredients together.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Put the celery & onions in a hot pan with melted butter & olive oil.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Put the sausage in the pan & cook it. Chop it into little bits with your spoon.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Now add in the breadcrumbs, sage & thyme. Instant filling!

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Cut the top third off of each apple.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Now scoop out the filling with a small ice cream scooper.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Fill each apple with the stuffing.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Dot the top of each apple with some butter.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Line them up in a baking dish and off to the oven they go.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Hello browned goodness!

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Now dig in.

baked apples wth savory stuffing

Casey ate 4 last night. Shh…. Don’t tell anyone!

Baked Apples with Savory Stuffing

Serves 4-5

(recipe adapted from the Canal House Cookbook Vol. No. 2)

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (about 4 total)
  • 6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • leaves from 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 8 to 10 apples (I used Fuji)
  • fresh parsley for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Take the Italian sausage out of its casing and cook, breaking the meat up with the back of a spoon until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Sir in the herbs and generously season with salt and pepper.  Add the breadcrumbs and toss to combine.

Cut off the top third of each apple. Using a small spoon, scoop out the center, removing the core, seeds, and just enough of the flesh to make a nice hollow for the stuffing. Divide the stuffing evenly between the apples, packing it into each hollow. Transfer the stuffed apples to a large baking dish. Dot each apple with a small knob of the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Bake the apples until the flesh is tender and the stuffing is golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve each apple with a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley.

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