Edam Cheese Baked Apples with Hazelnuts
I plan to serve Edam Cheese Baked Apples with Hazelnuts at the hypothetical dinner party I’m throwing at my even more hypothetical mountain lodge in Aspen.
I can picture us now, gathered in my woodsy but impeccably furnished chalet. We’re jauntily poised in our all-American grandpa sweaters, leather boots, and chunky accessories. We sip hard cider from sturdy sterling mugs and munch Edam Cheese Baked Apples with Hazelnuts. The entire scene would be outrageously pretentious, except that we’ve eaten so much Edam by this point in the party that no one with a real pedigree would take us seriously. All the more Edam cheese for us.
If cheddar and gouda had a baby, it would be Edam cheese. Buttery and nutty, Edam cheese melts beautifully and has become my latest dairy obsession. Creamy-dreamy, it’s ideal for grown-up grilled cheeses. Its flavor is complex enough to hold its own on a cheeseboard, plus it pairs equally well with a pale ale as it does a red wine. I’ve never met a cheese this comfortable with itself. Honestly, I kind of envy it.
The nutty, earthy flavor of Edam cheese inspired this dish, and I’ve been loving Edam Cheese Baked Apples with Hazelnuts as both an easy make-ahead appetizer and along side a green salad for lunch. We bake the apples in a quick combination of red wine, butter, and apple cider, adding depth of flavor and all-around irresistibility. The apples become tender and sweeten in the oven, the hazelnuts bring crunch, and a touch of thyme adds savoryness. The Edam bubbles inside the apples, transforming them from a humble fruit to something at once comfy and quietly refined.
If you’ve never had Edam cheese, I’m begging you—run out and find some rightthissecond. Your tummy, taste buds, and whichever friends are lucky enough to share it will thank you profusely. Then, don your favorite wooly sweater, pour yourself a glass of wine, and bake yourself a warm pan of Edam Cheese Baked Apples with Hazelnuts. Elbow patches are optional, but encouraged.
Cheesy Baked Apples
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter — divided
- 6 firm lightly tart baking apples — such as Cortland, McIntosh or Granny Smith
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 cup light, fruity red wine — such as Pinot Noir
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme — or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup Edam Cheese — (4 ounces) coarsely grated, or other similar melty cheese, such as gouda or gruyere
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, — toasted
Place rack in middle position of oven. Preheat to 375°F. Butter 9×13-inch pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and set aside.
Cut apples in half from top to bottom (stem to base). With small spoon or melon baller, hollow out small hole in center of each half, removing core. Lay apples, cut side down, in baking dish. Drizzle with melted butter and apple cider. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, until apples begin to soften.
Remove apples from oven and turn each over in pan. Spoon butter-cider sauce over halves. Add red wine, pouring evenly. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Fill each hollowed core with Edam, piling any additional cheese on each top. Return pan to oven. Bake additional 15 – 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with chopped hazelnuts. Transfer apples to serving plate and drizzle with remaining sauce from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make-ahead tip: Prepare apples through drizzling with butter and cider, then cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, set pan on counter for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature, then proceed with recipe as directed.
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