Оно соку спелого полно,
Так свежо и так душисто,
Будто мёдом налилось!
Видны семечки насквозь…
А. С. Пушкин
Not only an apple is a delicious and healthful fruit, it is also deeply symbolic throughout time and across cultures. Apples appear in religion, mythology as well as folklore and folk art in many cultures symbolizing temptation, immortality, and knowledge. It is often associated with something grand and significant, so there is no surprise that New York is referred to as the “Big Apple.”
Many of my brightest childhood memories are related to apples: watching the apple trees at our dacha get dressed up with plenty of small white flowers; following tiny apples grow large and ripen; harvesting them in August and enjoying them throughout the year – fresh, dried, canned, pureed, – even stealing apples from our neighbors’ garden together with the crew of other kids (naturally, the harder it was to get them the better they tasted).
As you could probably tell, I am a big fan of apples, and I personally think that nothing can beat the rich and complex flavors of raw apples. This is the reason why, when it comes to cooking with apples, I love baking them with minimum of other ingredients to emphasize their natural flavors, not to hide them. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is ridiculously simple and quick to make, yet looks and tastes sophisticated enough to impress your gourmand friends.
Active time: 15 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes | Serves: 4
4 medium apples
4 tbsp ricotta or farmer cheese
2 tbsp raw honey
Pinch of ground cinnamon
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp roasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Optional: 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Slice ½ inch off top of each apple. With a small spoon or a pairing knife, scoop out inner core and seeds from inside of each apple up to bottom. Make sure you do not go all the way through apple.
Prepare the cream. Mix together ricotta and honey, sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Stuff the cored apples with the ricotta and honey cream, place one cinnamon stick inside of each apple. Place the apples on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes for crispier apples and 25 minutes for softer ones.
Place each baked apple on individual serving plate, sprinkle with walnuts and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.