I really enjoy sharing good food with people.
It is very similar to my love of creating and sharing good tea with people.
I don’t have the time or spoons to properly cook as often as I would like to, but I manage from time to time.
This past weekend I made my Gramma Betsy’s Baked Stuffed Apples. The friends we were sharing the meal with brought a lovely sharp cheddar, challah, and some quite tasty Apple Cinnamon Bread – which all worked rather well with the apples.
I mentioned on Twitter that we had done this thing and that it was a good thing…
… and I was asked whether the recipe was a top secret item, or if it could be shared.
As my philosophy is that the things my Gramma taught me are gifts to be spread as widely as possible, I replied that I was more than willing to share.
As it was rather spur of the moment, I do not have pictures to share. Just the recipe, and then some commentary on things learned and variations used.
Baked Apples with Sausage
12-14 small tart apples
1 lb mild loose sausage
Brown sugar or maple syrup or molasses or…
Start by preheating the oven to 300.
Cut a slice off of the top of each apple. Wash and core. (Very carefully, with the coring. The goal is to get the core out without making a hole in the bottom of the apple. 1
Scoop out some pulp. The amount is personal preference, with one specific guideline: you want to leave at least ¼ inch on all sides of the apple, if you want it to maintain a semblance of structural integrity.
Put one Tablespoon sweet substance of your choice in the bottom of each apple. (Adjust to taste. I tend to use far less. Additionally, I have only tested the three substances listed. I assume that honey would work, not sure on the liquid replacement sugars.)
Fill to the brim, or even a little over, with sausage. We like to go with a traditional spiced sage breakfast sausage. But this is where you can choose what flavour set you want. 2
Place in baking pans. They need to be deep enough to handle the liquid you are about to add.
Fill ¼ – ½ inch of the bottom of the pan with apple cider or juice. It works nicely with either, though I find it to be better with cider – and I try to match the apples and ciders in complementary fashion.
Bake an hour and a half. (This will vary, depending on what your apple to sausage ratio is. If the sausage starts to look nicely browned on top, stick a thermometer into the center of a larger sausage bit and check for doneness.)
There’s a wide variety of things you can do with this, given the array of apples available and the amazing options for types of sausage. If anyone tries something interesting with this, I’d love to know.
The primary variant for these is that sometimes (though only with larger apples) I will tuck some currants or raisins in on top of the sweet substance, and add the sausage on top of that. Leads to something resembling the tastiest versions of mincemeat.
I do not recommend putting on lids on these if you want them to look at all neat and tidy. You end up with apples that are melting into a steamed pile of spice and semi-sweet pulp. They are actually gloriously tasty – just rather a mess at the same time.
Then again, one of Mister Tea’s most oft-heard declarations is:
“Messy Food is the Best Food!”