Baked Apples w/ Cantal, Hazelnuts & Pancetta
Baked apples are such a fall thing.
I have my usual supply of Empire apples from my friend Martha's fruit orchard, and when life gives you apples, make baked apples (or applesauce, apple fritters, apple pie, cakes........).
I found this unusual recipe in a French magazine Cuisine et Vins de France and adapted the metric measurements to the U.S. conversions, which always confuses me!
But it's a basic stuffing, so you can't go wrong.
If you can't find Cantal, which is a lovely cheese from the Auvergne region, then substitute Comte (or Gruyere).
For 4 apples:
Hollow out the apples. Take as much of the flesh out as you can without going thru to the bottom. I use a paring knife, then a melon baller to get the job done.
Save the tops of the apples for the lids.
For the stuffing:
1/4 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
6 oz. Cantal cheese, cut into small dice
2 tbsp raisins
4 oz. bacon or smoked pancetta, cut into cubes
melted butter for brushing the apples
Fry up the bacon or pancetta, and toss in a bowl with the chopped nuts, raisins and diced cheese. Spoon stuffing into the hollowed out apples and pack tightly.
Brush with melted butter and place tops back on to cover.
Place apples in a baking dish with a little water on the bottom.
Bake 35 minutes at 350F.
These were more savory than sweet baked apples, perfect along side my Friday night roast chicken.