Now that winter is yet even closer and outside the cold is beginning to bite, the craving for warm and comforting desserts grows ever stronger. It’s that time of year when there’s the smell of roasted chestnuts in the air, the windows are misted up and the oven is hot: what better moment to pop one of those desserts that taste like childhood and loveliness in that warm oven?
The simplicity of stuffed baked apples has always had an incredible flavour; and just as you thought nothing could beat it, it takes just a small touch to make them even more fragrant and elegant, perfect to serve as a dessert. Indeed, the aroma of Moscato highlights the sweetness of the raisins and balances out that slight tartness of seasonal apples, giving this simple dessert an intense and elegant twist.
Serve them with the same wine used to infuse them, or add a little zabaglione or crème patissière. For those of you who are feeling bold, despite the temperature outside, a scoop of vanilla ice cream could be the perfect accompaniment.
Handful of raisins
50g toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp honey
Icing or powdered sugar
Half glass of Moscato DOC Piedmont
Wash and core the apples, being careful not to pierce the bottoms. Use a corer to remove part of the inner flesh to make room for the filling.
To make the filling, rehydrate the raisins in warm water, squeeze out any remaining water and add to the pine nuts, coarsely chopped hazelnuts and a heaped tablespoon of honey. Add a sprinkling of cinnamon and mix.
Fill the apples with the fruit and nut mixture and place in a heat-proof dish. Add the half glass of Moscato and bake in a static oven at 180°C for 30 minutes until the apples are perfectly soft and the dried fruit slightly golden.
While the apples cook, keep them moist by pouring over the juices at the bottom of the dish 2-3 times.
Serve them hot from the oven with a sprinkling of icing sugar.
Ph. credits: brododicoccole.com