Baked Apple Dessert with Ricotta & Honey
You can easily prepare this baked apple dessert a couple of hours in advance before dinner or lunch and then let the baked apple just rest at room temperature until needed. Plating them up after that is truly a piece of (fruit) cake: divide the baked apple over plates, top them with a good dollop of fresh ricotta cheese and sprinkle with a handful of toasted nuts, sweet honey and some freshly chopped mint. This baked apple dessert looks very delicate and super elegant but it is such a simple dessert to make honestly. Do try it out!
I used crunchy salted pistachios and pine nuts to garnish the baked apple with. Bit needless to say that any type of nuts such as walnuts, almonds or pecans are also perfect.
Enjoy this beauty!
- 2 medium apples
- 2 tbsp ricotta
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- a handful pistachio nuts (or pine nuts, walnuts…)
- 4 leaves fresh mint chopped
- Slice the apples in half close to the stems, making 2 apple ‘lids’.
- Then core the apple. You can use an apple corer if you got one or a sharp knife. Make sure the apples stay in one piece.
- Brush the top of the apples with the lemon juice and place the lids back on them. Place the apples in an oven dish.
- Place the apples in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 30 minutes. After that let the apples cool down a little. In the meantime roughly crush the nuts and lightly toast them over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes while tossing them regularly.
- Place the baked lukewarm apples onto dessert plates and top them with a tablespoon of the fresh ricotta. Sprinkle the apples with the toasted nuts, the freshly chopped mint. Drizzle with the honey and serve.
I love cooking with fruits. Fruit desserts for instance are a very cheap and easy treat! The first thing that pops up into my mind is the well known apple crumble of course! Soft and smooth bits of apple under a layer of crunchy flour sugar and butter: awesome crust! Making apple crumble is such a no brainer, I’m sure you would be able to assemble a kick ass apple crumble without any recipe whatsoever.
It’s one of my mom’s favorite desserts to prepare and hers is drop dead delicious. No matter how you serve apple crumble: freshly baked and warm straight out of the oven or made in advance and served cold (with a good dollop of whipped cream on top or custard…) I love apple crumble to bits! Another fun thing about apple crumble is the fact that you can replace the apples and use I guess almost every other type of fruit that you happen to have in your pantry or fruit basket! I love a super sweet cherry crumble… Oh! What a heartwarming delight!! Or peaches, strawberries or mango… enough crumble ideas to get me going for yet another year of dessert making and baking! Stay put…
Crumble and Cobbler
Besides, do you know the difference between a crumble and a cobbler? Both look very much alike, but what exactly is the difference? Have you ever wondered? Well both recipes are quite similar for a start. They both mean oven baked soft fruit under a pastry layer. The layer for a crumble however mainly consists of a combination of butter, sugar and flour (that is also known as streusel) that is combined into a crumbly mixture. This mixture is then sprinkled on top of the fruits in a baking dish. You might also find oats and nuts in the streusel mixture sometimes but then your ‘crumble’ theoretically becomes a ‘crisp’. Do you still follow, are you still with me?
OK so we know what a crumble and crisp are now. What about the cobbler then I can hear you say. Well the base for the crispy pastry layer on top of a cobbler also consists of flour, butter and sugar plus the addition of milk. It is kneaded into a much thicker dough which is then scooped on top of the fruits in the baking dish, making the surface of the fruit dish look like cobblestones. And that’s why this dessert is called cobbler.
Other apple desserts that we all love? A classic apple pie of course! I love apple pie. And yes, I make my own apple pie pastry from scratch! Oh you will love it. Making pie crust sounds far more difficult than it really is.
Here is some extra fruit recipe inspiration. I like to use oranges and lemons as well. Take a look at my favorite lemon dessert: a yogurt panna cotta with lemon! A great and very elegant looking dish that you have to make a day in advance, perfect for a dinner party! And don’t worry, this panna cotta is so easy to make. I must have prepared it like twenty times before and every single time it was perfect. The cream was set beautifully and its texture was amazingly velvety because of the yogurt and cream mixture. A fail proof make ahead dessert!
I love a good fluffy cake flavored with fruits: I recently made an orange cake with vanilla… that vibrant orange color was amazing! And the texture was light and baked perfectly. I made some zesty citrus cakes before but somehow they would not raise at all and stay heavy and sticky on the inside. Not this time though!
Oh and here is an all time favorite: thin crepes drenched in a sugary orange sauce with butter and Grand Marnier liquor, also known as French crepes suzette! Super easy dessert to make, again one that you can easily prepare a couple of hours in advance! You can even prepare the thin crepes the day before if you want! Only thing to prepare after dinner is the warm buttery orange sauce, place the crepes in it and let them simmer and soak for a couple of minutes. I usually place the pan with the sticky treats in the middle of our dinner table and let everyone serve themselves. You should see those forks dig into it!
One type of fruit however that I’m not fond of in desserts or served warm is bananas: I love to eat them just like that, raw. Banana ice cream, banana puddings, banana chips or banana cake always make me think of baby food. I have no idea why that it but the banana flavor puts me off big time.
Hearty Fruit Recipes
Have you added fruits to hearty (main) dishes before? I love my carrot and orange soup with vanilla and sage. Or how about a classic feta cheese and watermelon salad? I love the combination of the salty cheese and the sweet watermelon. That one is the perfect summer lunch! Another classic and a very popular salad recipe here on my website: my apple and celery salad with blue cheese! Talking of salads: I also should not forget to mention the famous chicken waldorf salad here!
Oh and what do you think of my pan fried quail legs with grapes? That’s another French classic dish, a very popular wine on my website by the way!
Let’s go for another classic that is closer to home: Belgian meatballs with sour cherries. You have no idea of how well meatballs and cherries go together. Spanish pork in orange sauce is another beauty. Do you like black pudding? Try out my combination of black pudding with apples and pink pepper!
But hey, apple recipes don’t always have to be sweet! They can also be savory as well. Here’s a bake apple recipe with garlic, olive oil and bay leaves. This baked apple is great as a side dish for sausages or pork chops!
Hearty Baked Apple Side DishA baked apple recipe not always has to be a kind of cinnamon dessert. Why not turn it into a surprisingly light side dish? Instead of making apple sauce or slowly braise the chopped apples into a compote I though it would be interesting to pop them in the oven for awhile and just see what comes out. That was just a brilliant idea: 5 minutes of preparation is all you need here and let the oven do the hard work afterwards.
It’s amazing. The apples are extremely soft on the inside but since the flesh is trapped in its skin it maintains its shape. These baked apples also look lovely on your dinner plate as well. I added bay leaves and thyme because I just happened to have them around in my kitchen but go ahead and use other herbs if you want. Next time I would add some fresh mint to this baked apple as well. I find these apples the perfect match for (blood) sausages or pork chops, served over a creamy polenta or creamy mashed potatoes. It’s a recipe for a successful dinner! Happy faces around the dinner table guaranteed.
My hearty baked apple recipe, light and easy to make! And a great as a side dish for sausages or pork chops.
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 1 large garlic clove chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ⅓ cup olive oil (70 ml)
Wash the apples and drain them on a kitchen towel. Don't peel them. Carefully core the apples using a knife, teaspoon, melon baller or apple core remover. Leave the rest of the apple intact and in 1 piece! Place them in a ceramic oven dish.
Fill the inside of the apples with the chopped garlic.
Add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
Sprinkle the apples with the olive oil.
Season with pepper, salt and the fennel seeds.
Bake the apples in a preheated oven at 356°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Remove the apples from the oven and serve them hot.