Savoury baked apples with goats’ curd and parma ham

Savoury baked apples with goats’ curd and parma ham

By
From
Cut the Carbs!
Serves
6

Baked apples, stuffed with butter, cinnamon, walnuts, currants and almonds were a favourite pudding of my late English grandmother. She served them warm with cold custard, the outsides of the apples as wrinkled as the backs of her hands. Here I’ve taken them on a savoury route. They provide a lovely companion for a bitter green salad, perhaps with roast chicken as a centrepiece. You can use most red apples, which have a good crunch and bite. Green may prove a little too tart. You could also substitute the goats’ curd mix for skinned sausagemeat for a heartier twist, or swap the goats’ curd for blue cheese if you want something richer. The lavender, while not essential at all, does add a subtle floral note to the goats’ curd, which in turn picks up some of the country-lane-sweetness in a Royal Gala apple.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 small red eating apples
8 slices parma ham, 6 cut in half lengthways, 2 cut into thirds to create large postage-stamp squares
30g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
30g almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
170g goats’ curd
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
A pinch unsprayed lavender leaves, (optional)
a drizzle olive oil
200ml apple cider or apple juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
a handful salad leaves per person

Equipment

Quantity Ingredient
apple corer or melon baller

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
  2. Cut the tops off the apples, about 1 cm below the stalk, then set the tops aside. Use an apple corer or a melon baller to remove the core of the apple and fashion a tunnel about as thick as a wine cork through the centre. You want the walls of the remaining apple to be 1–1.5 cm thick. Discard the cores. Using a sharp knife, score a shallow slit around the perimeter of each apple, about 1 cm below the top (this will help the apples not to burst during baking).
  3. Take one postage-stamp square of ham and shimmy it down to the bottom of the tunnel and let the corners snake up the sides – you want to create a ‘plug’ for the filling so it doesn’t fall out the bottom during baking.
  4. Combine the chopped nuts with the goats’ curd, rosemary and lavender, if you fancy. Add the olive oil and mash with a fork to combine.
  5. Divide the filling into 6 and press each portion into the hollow in each apple, being careful not to push out the ham plug at the bottom.
  6. Wrap 2 sheets of Parma ham around each apple. Use the fattiest parts of ham as glue to help it stick to the fruit. If it really won’t stick, you can always use a cocktail stick to fasten it in place.
  7. Put the apples in a baking dish and drizzle the tops with a little olive oil. Pour the cider or apple juice into the baking dish and place the tops of the apples in there too.
  8. Cover the tray with foil (try not to let the foil touch the filling) and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven temperature up to 180˚C and bake for another 20 minutes or until the apples are soft and the ham is crisp.
  9. Serve the apples warm, with the tops at a jaunty angle for presentation, with salad leaves and a drizzling of the cooking juices from the bottom of the dish.
Tags:
healthy
low carb
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