Breakfast has always been a difficult meal for me. I’m not a fan of a lot of the traditional American breakfast foods that are based largely on starch and sweets, and I spent a number of years skipping breakfast altogether. While I don’t believe that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” (and this article dispels some of those myths), I do eat breakfast most days, and right now I am pretty tired of eggs. This savory-sweet baked apple dish is a nice change of pace. For this I used pastured, nitrate-free bacon that is thick cut. This is highly adaptable according to what you have on hand–proscuitto is a nice swap for the bacon, for instance.
It’s best to use a firm-tart variety of apple for this, such as Granny Smiths, but any apple you enjoy will work. Pictured is a batch made with Pinova’s because that’s what I had on hand, and they held up nicely to baking. The filling amounts are going to vary based on the size of your apples, so use this as a guideline for four, medium apples and adjust as needed. I cut a thin slice off of the base of the halved apples to increase stability while they bake, and you can either eat those pieces while you cook or dice them up and toss them into the filling. If you have extra filling after you stuff all of the apples, just scatter it around them and let it bake in the same dish.
- 4 firm-tart apples, halved from stem to blossom end, and cored
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1/2 of a white onion, finely chopped (about a scant cup)
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
- some fresh thyme leaves, or a pinch of dried thyme
- honey to drizzle on the bakes apples (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the apple halves in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer.
- Toss the chopped bacon with the onion, raisins, crushed red pepper, and thyme. Use your hands to divide the filling into the apples. The filling is loose, so pat it into a little mound on each apple. Pour a half of a cup of water around the apples, and cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove the foil and return the baking dish to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, to let the filling brown a bit.
- Serve hot, drizzled with a little honey, if desired.
These are also nice topped with some toasted walnuts or pine nuts and if you don’t want to do this much work before breakfast, they do refrigerate and reheat nicely.
Thanks for reading,