Award Winning Savory Baked Apples with Sausage Stuffing

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Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 45 Mins Cook Time: 34 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 19 Mins

In the town I live in each July we hold a big three day festival called”Deltarado Days’.  .

There is a rodeo, street dance, live music, craft vendors and kids activities for the town to enjoy, its a wonderful way the small town celebrates summer.

The annual baking contest is always held during the festival, and I always am  hesitant to participate, not wanting to take a cake full of filling and frosting to sit out at the judges table to melt and slide away.

This year July decided to be incredibly hot and humid, so knowing this, I decided to try something new for the baking contest.

The categories were Savory apple and Sweet Onion for entries.

I started my search for the best recipe by choosing savory apple, as the flavor of rosemary kept creeping into my baking mind for something savory.

So what do you get with savory, apples and rosemary, I know Baked Apples with savory Italian sausage stuffing.

One of the best ways to make stuffing is to dry out the bread the night prior to making the stuffing. Simply put the bread slices onto a cookie sheet and put them into the oven for safe keeping over night.

I started by making the savory Italian sausage stuffing.  I cooked the Italian sausage and green onions, until I could crumble the sausage and drain off any grease.  I placed the dried Italian bread into the food processor using the chopping blade, and pulsed a few times to get a nice bite size stuffing.  You will than make the stuffing by placing the chopped bread into a jumbo Ziploc bag, add in the melted butter, celery, dried cranberries, sage, poultry seasoning and onion powder.  As soon as the Italian sausage has cooled down add to the Ziploc bag, shake really well to coat all the bread and blend the flavors.

Add the stuffing to your crock pot on slow cook with 1/4 C chicken stock, by the time you have gathered all the other ingredients the stuffing is perfection!

My next mission was to gather the honey crisp apples for this project, as well as picking fresh rosemary and a sprig or two of Italian oregano herbs from the garden .

This recipe will make enough stuffing for the apple dish and leftovers. You may want to make your stuffing as you see fit with just enough for the apples, but where is the fun in that!  When making stuffing I simply cannot control myself!  I luv stuffing leftovers.

Once the creation started I could not stop, it became so wonderful to make the stuffing and fill the house full of all the savory flavors in the middle of July with the air conditioned turned high.

I let the stuffing slow cook most of the day about 4 hours. Towards the end of the cook I cut the tops off the apples about 1/4 down, and cored out the center with a melon baller, soaking the apples and tops in lemon juice water to prevent browning as I cut all the apples.

Once all the apples were cut and ready, I put the bottoms of the apples cored side up into my pan.  I used foil to line the pan, due to the fact I had to transfer each apple into the serving dish, so I could take them to the festival.

 

The best part was stuffing the apples, after they were stuffed I added a few pieces of the cored apple on top to add some crunch, and poured about 2 T of low salt chicken stock into each one to moisten the stuffing.   I also added a good splash of chicken stock to the bottom of the pan, to create some moisture and steam during cooking.

 

The apple tops were place on the stuffing to hold it all together and into the oven it went for 30-40 mins at 350 degrees.  As oven temps vary you may need to adjust oven time.

The apples were baked covered with foil, to create the steaming process.  I baked them to slightly softened, I wanted to keep the crunch and intense flavor of the honey crisp apples for the finished product.

I used the rosemary as stems and added the Italian oregano as a garnish.

Super happy how these turned out!

To my surprise and delight I won first place!!  Could not believe it when they announced the winner of the Savory Apple Baking contest! It was ME!

Off to county fair I go with this recipe. However I am going to make it an edible centerpiece, and use a few fresh rose buds on the platter to add a little more fun to this dish!

 

Enjoy!

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Ingredients

0/14 Ingredients
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Instructions

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  • If you have time dry out the bread the night prior to making the stuffing by placing the slices onto a cookie sheet into the oven for safe keeping. When the bread is dried out a bit, put the slices into the food processor and pulse using the chopping blade, until a nice crumbled consistency. Add the bread to a jumbo ziploc bag, add the seasonings, shake well and set aside.
  • Cook the Italian sausage ,add in the green onions prior to the meat being done, until the onions a soft. Crumble the meat, drain off the grease. Let the meat cool Add the chopped celery and meat to the ziploc bag, shaking well into the stuffing mix.+ Pour in the butter, shake well Set aside
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree Cut the top off the apples, about 1/4 way down. Place the tops in a bowl of lemon juice water cut side down. Core out the pulp from the apple using a melon ball tool Place the apples cut side down in the lemon juice water.
  • When all the apples are cute and cored, set them into your pan. Add the stuffing , packing tightly into the apples. Cover the apples with the apple top. Add 1/2 C of chicken stock into the baking pan, lightly cover the apples with foil Bake anywhere from 30-40 mins.
  • Once the apples are cooked, still somewhat firm. Take out of oven. Transfer to serving dish Add stuffing around the apples on the bottom of the serving dish. Add rosemary sprigs for stems, and the Italian oregano as a garnish. Sprinkle a few more cranberries on top. Serve and enjoy!

1 Comment

  1. CONGRATS on the winning dish!! This looks delicious and would be quite a crowd pleaser. Love hearing about your adventures in the kitchen and beyond!

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