Best For: Appetizers, Dinner, Sides
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 4 apples, halved lengthwise (we like a firm apple that holds its shape while baking, like Ambrosia, Honeycrisp, or SweeTango®)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 16 oz. ground pork or bulk sausage
- 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Garnish: honey, fried sage, fresh thyme, parmesan, and/or flaky sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove seeds and some of the flesh from the center of the apple, leaving a ½ in. thick apple "shell." Slice a small piece off the rounded side of the apple so it can lay flat. Dice the scooped-out flesh and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add apples, garlic, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground pork, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and the cooled vegetable/apple mixture. Form 8 equal-sized balls and stuff the cored apple halves.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pork temperature is at least 160º F inside. Garnish with a drizzle of honey, fried sage, fresh thyme, parmesan, and/or flaky sea salt.