savoury stuffed apples with rice pine nuts and currants

I adore sweet and savoury flavours together and this recipe from The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking nails this perfectly. I have tweaked it a bit because the first time I cooked them the cooking apples burst and so I had to start again even though they tasted amazing, so I went with Braeburn apples instead. I have also added more pine nuts and currants as I thought the recipe needed it and replaced the sugar with maple syrup as it’s low GI and used basmati rice. They are perfect as a side to a roast instead of stuffing or cold with a salad.


Serves 4-8

12 eating apples
2 tablespoons of olive oil
juice of half a lemon
2 teaspoons of maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
a knob of butter (optional)
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
4 tablespoons of pine nuts
4 tablespoons of currants soaked in warm water for five minutes
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground allspice
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1 cup of basmati rice washed and drained
1 small bunch of dill finely chopped
1 small bunch of parsley finely chopped
Chopped mint or parsley leaves to garnish



First make the filling. Heat the oil (and butter if using) in a large pan. Cook the onions and garlic until they soften and then add the pine nuts and currants and continue stirring till the nuts start to golden.

Transfer to a milk pan and stir in the spices, maple syrup and rice. Pour in enough water to cover the rice, about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch above the rice, cover and bring to the boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Add the chopped herbs, turn of the heat and put the lid back on and leave to steam for 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200c /400f.

Take the apples and cut the stalk end off to create a lid, then core the apples and remove some of the flesh using an apple corer to create a big enough cavity for the filling. Place on a baking tray.

Fill the apples and press the rice down and squish a spoonful on top then pop the lids back on. Mix the lemon juice olive oil maple syrup and 1/2 cup of water and pour it into the bottom of the tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the apples are tender and the juices start to caramelise.

Garnish with the parsley or mint and serve.

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