This recipe for Savory Stuffed Apples with Apple Cider Reduction is a perfectly balanced meal all on its own, and follows a similar formula to sweet stuffed apples: Core the apples, mix up the filling, stuff, bake. It’s the perfect all-in-one Thanksgiving dish.
If you’re having a small gathering this Thanksgiving and aren’t planning to make a whole turkey with all of the fixins, this dish includes quintessential flavors of the holiday such as turkey, wild rice, apple, thyme and sage, all in one beautifully presented package. Add a green salad and a vegan, gluten-free pumpkin pie and you’re all set.
- Apple corer
- Melon baller
- 6 slot muffin tin
- Large saute pan
- Small sauce pan
For the apples:
- 6 Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples
- 1 tbsp olive oil or spray olive oil
For the filling:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 ½ cups prepared long-grain wild rice (for a time-saver, you can get pre-cooked wild rice, just check for your allergens before using)
For the apple cider reduction:
- 2 cups apple cider
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the apples:
- Using the apple corer, remove cores from apples.
- Carefully scoop more of the apple flesh out from the center of the apple using a melon baller or small spoon, being careful not to remove so much that the skin breaks. Begin at the top and leave approximately ½ inch of flesh on the inside of the apple to accommodate about ¼ cup of filling.
- Place each apple on a 6-inch square piece of foil, then wrap sides but leave the tops of the apples open.
- Place foil-wrapped apples into the muffin tin slots (this helps hold the apples upright as you fill them and as they bake.)
- Spray or brush the insides and tops of each apple with a little bit of olive oil.
Make the filling and stuff the apples:
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan.
- Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper, sage and thyme and cook for another minute.
- Add ground turkey and break it up into small pieces as it cooks, stirring often until the turkey is cooked through but not yet brown, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in prepared wild rice until it is distributed evenly throughout.
- Carefully spoon about ¼ cup of the turkey filling into each apple, filling each one all the way to the top.
- Place muffin tin into preheated oven for about 50 minutes, until apples are soft but not wrinkled or brown.
Make the apple cider reduction:
- *Note: the reduction has to be used immediately or it will harden.
- When there are about 20 minutes left on the cook time for the stuffed apples, pour 2 cups of apple cider into a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and stir occasionally, allowing to simmer over medium-high heat and reduce for about 40 minutes.
- The end result will be dark brown and resemble the consistency of caramel.
Assemble the final dish:
- When stuffed apples are done cooking, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly for a minute or two.
- Remove each foil-wrapped apple to a plate or bowl and carefully remove foil.
- Drizzle with apple cider reduction and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Serve!
This is part of a series of recipes I created exclusively for TABLE magazine.