This dessert, with Mahón cheddar, ticks all the boxes when you can’t decide between a cheese board, fruit platter or baked sweet.
- 20 g (¾ oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 apples
- 120 g (4½ oz) aged Mahón reserva or 12 month-aged cheddar, grated
- 2 sprigs thyme, leaves finely chopped
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Calvados or brandy
- 10 hazelnuts, roasted, skinned, roughly chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 10 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan-forced. Grease a small baking tray with the butter and line with baking paper.
- Slice one-quarter off the top of each apple and remove the core, being careful not to core all the way through.
- Gently spoon out the apple flesh, leaving a 5-mm (¼-in) layer of apple behind. Place the apple flesh in a bowl with the cheese and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and smash up any larger apple chunks using the back of a fork. Set aside in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Calvados or brandy into each hollowed-out apple and stuff to the top with the cheese mixture. Transfer the stuffed apples to the prepared tray and sprinkle over the hazelnuts. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Serve with a drizzle of the remaining juices in the baking tray.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99