In October I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, CA. One of the Fresh Summit sponsors was Rainier Fruit, who provided these specialty apples for me to try.The Lady Alice apple is grown in Washington State and has proven to hold well in storage, so they will begin appearing in grocery stores in the States in February. It’s a large, flavorful apple that baked well. Much of Rainier’s fruit is grown organically (although not all is certified yet).
Baked apples with pine nuts and fennel
2 large (180 g each) Lady Alice or tart baking apples
1/4 C. (20 g) fennel (one stalk and fronds)
1/4 C. (25 g) celery (one stalk)
2 T. (15 g) pine nuts
2 T. Calvados or other brandy, plus a bit more at the end
1/4 t. (0.5 g) sea salt
1/4 t. (0.5 g) cracked black pepper
fresh lemon juice
1 C. (250 ml) boiling water
Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/gas mark 5.
Wash and dry the celery and fennel, and finely chop.
Heat about 1 T. of olive oil in a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute the pine nuts, fennel, and celery, adding the sea salt and pepper as you saute. When they are golden brown, add the brandy, continuing to stir until the brandy cooks off. Squeeze just a little fresh lemon juice over the mixture, stirring to combine.
Heat the water on the stove or in the microwave.
Core each apple about 3/4 of the way down using an apple corer, being careful not to cut all the way to the bottom. Use a sharp paring knife to widen the hole at the top, and a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds and core.
Fill each apple with the mixture, rounding them on top. Pour one spoonful of brandy into each apple.
Put the apples in a ceramic baking dish. Carefully pour in the hot water, and put the dish in the oven on the middle rack.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are softened but not mushy.
Thanks to Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes for her baked apples method.
Required FTC disclosure: The apples were provided by Rainier Fruit. The Idaho Potato Commission provided my pass to the Fresh Summit. I was not paid to write this post.
All of our recipes are gluten-free, sugar-free, and made with plant-based ingredients to help you build a healthy life. We support Meatless Monday. Look for midweek essays and Friday how-to and giveaways (when available).
So glad I finally bought an apple corer! Makes working with apples a breeze.