Monday, 20 March 2017

Baked Apples with Cheesecake Filling

If there is anything more Ontarian than apple desserts, I really don't know what. This is lighter than eating a slab of cheesecake but still makes a pretty rich and solid dessert. Serve it with a lighter meal; it makes a fine finish to a soup, salad or sandwich supper.

I used rum and thought it made an excellent combination with the discreet touch of cinnamon. Some chopped raisins added to the filling might have been nice, but I was lazy and tend to like a smooth textured filling anyway. If you like them they would be good, though.

Depending on the size of your apples and the degree to which you hollow them out, this amount of filling might do 4 to 8 of them, but in general I think 6 will be about right.

6 servings
1 hour and 45 minutes - 30 minutes prep time
allow time to cool

Baked Apples with Cheesecake Filling

Make the Filling:
250 grams (1/2 pound) cream cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon rum
OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Put the cream cheese into a small mixing bowl and work it until it is easy to stir. Mix in the egg, sugar, rum or vanilla, and cinnamon.

Prepare & Stuff the Apples:

6 medium-large baking apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup water OR apple juice or cider
2 tablespoons honey

Using a small, sharp paring knife, cut out as much of the core of an apple as possible (you will remove a cone-shaped piece) then use a grapefruit spoon to hollow out the apple to within about 1 cm of the skin or slightly less. Don't break through the bottom of the apple. Peel a thin strip of peel off around the equator of the apple (if you like - this makes it a little easier to eat, and helps avoid splitting while baking but is not strictly required).

Have the lemon juice and water or apple juice or cider mixed together in a small pot; use this to swish the apple around in, covering all the cut sides. Drain it back into the pot and place the apple in a shallow baking dish (approximately 8" x 10"). Repeat with the remaining apples.

Chop all the material removed from the apples roughly and add it to the pot of water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and simmer until quite soft. Add the honey and mix in until well dissolved. Strain the mixture through a sieve, discarding anything that won't go through, and spoon it around the apples in the baking dish.  Add a little more water or juice if the amount does not seem sufficient to cover the bottom of the pan to the depth of about 1 cm.

While the apple sauce cooks, use the prepared cheesecake filling to fill the apples. Once the apples are filled and the sauce distributed around them, bake them at 350°F for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until they are soft and the cheesecake filling shows slight signs of browning. 

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Last year at this time I made Baked Spring Rolls.

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