CASA GRANDE

Tis the season for searching for potential new holiday recipes. Halloween is in a few weeks and Thanksgiving and Christmas are not too far behind, making it a great time to test out recipes that might wind up as part of a holiday feast.

Cornbread-stuffed baked apples seem to fit the bill. They are exactly what they sound like — apples, cored and hollowed and filled with a cornbread stuffing before they’re baked. I like cornbread, and I love apples, so this recipe seemed promising.

And it is easy to make. There’s nothing tricky about it. Any type of apple can be used. Making the cornbread stuffing is easy too, whether starting with a made-from-scratch version or one purchased already made from the grocery store.

Various versions of this recipe can be found online. Not all use a cornbread stuffing. Some use any type of stuffing that’s on hand.

Some recipes for stuffing-stuffed apples sweeten up the stuffing with cinnamon, nuts and fruits while others stick to savory flavors.

The recipe I followed was found on the Food Network website. It called for using two apples, but the apples I had on hand were pretty small, so I used four apples and still had stuffing left over.

And while the recipe was easy to follow, I received mixed reactions when I made it.

While I liked the sweet-meets-savoriness of the apples and stuffing, others I served them to did not. Some thought it was too sweet to be a side dish and too savory to be a dessert.

“These apples are confusing me,” was one comment I received when I served them to friends and family. “I don’t know if I’m eating a dessert or a dinner food.”

But the recipe was tasty enough that I might experiment with it a bit more. I think they would be good with a little bit of turkey, sausage, bacon or even shredded pork mixed in.

And while cornbread-stuffed baked apples might not make it to my holiday table this year, I’m thinking stuffing-stuffed apples might be a delicious way to use leftover holiday stuffing and turkey this year.

Cornbread-stuffed baked apples

Halve and core 2 crisp apples; trim the uncut sides. Scoop out and chop most of the flesh. Combine with ½ cup each shredded cheddar and crumbled cornbread, ¼ cup each chopped celery and scallions, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme; season with salt and pepper. Fill the apples with the stuffing; arrange in a baking dish. Pour in ½ cup apple cider. Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees F until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until crisp, 10 minutes.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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