"Come on, baked apples may not be fashionable but you know you want them taunts Matthew Evans, one of Tasmania's best-known celebrity chefs, in his cookbook, Winter on the Farm - Heartwarming food for the cold months (Murdoch Books). Season 4 of his Gourmet Farmer series airs on SBS TV this Thursday (3/8).
My mother loves baked apples and adds a whole fresh, seeded, date to the stuffing of each apple. Matthew also suggests adding some nuts to the filling. "Pistachios would be nice," he adds. My story about the Apple Isle is here.
- Cinnamon Cream
- pouring cream - 150ml
- icing sugar - 1- 2 tablespoons
- ground cinnamon - a pinch, or to taste
- ground cloves - a small pinch
- The apples
- cooking apples - 4, such as granny smith
- fresh dates - 4
- currants - 1 tablespoon
- lemon zest - 1teaspoon, finely grated
- soft brown sugar - 2 tblespoons
- butter - 20g
To make the cinnamon cream: whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until a soft, mousse-like consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the oven to 180deg (160degC) fan-forced.
For the apples: Core the apples all the way through using a corer if you have one, or a small knife if you don't. If you don't want the skin to blow apart, cut a fine line horizontally through the skin from one end of the apple to the other.
Remove seeds from dates and chop into small pieces and mix with the currants and lemon zest. Pack the date mixture into the centre of each apple and press some brown sugar into the top of each one, then crown this stuffing with a knob of butter.
Pour 125ml (1/2 cup) water into the base of a baking tin. Place the apples in the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until vey soft. They might take longer or less, depending on what variety your apples are, how fresh they are and the real temperature of your oven.
Serve with the cinnamon cream and some of the yummy pan juices.