Friday, September 21, 2012

Savory-sweet Microwave Baked Apples

I'm not sure how I did this, but I just blurred the lines between salad and dessert, and am eating it for breakfast.

I'm currently (and temporarily) avoiding grain.  This sucks most at breakfast, especially in the early fall when I'm done with smoothies and none of the fruit is that good in a smoothie anyway.  I so want a warm bowl of scratch-made oatmeal, or a spicy-nutty granola bar.  Their time will come, but in the meantime, I have had to get creative to avoid egg monotony. 

I've been eating a lot of apples since it is just that time of year, and my grain-less evening snacks have often consisted of raw apples with nut butter, or microwaved baked apples with cinnamon, or dried cranberries in the place of the core.  But this morning, I had a revelation: stuff the apple with cheese for a little more "staying power" and a little less sweet than I want first thing in the morning.  I love apples with cheese (Oh, who am I kidding? I love everything with cheese), and sharp cheddar is always a good pairing for an apple.  But I also really enjoy those autumnal salads that include apples, nuts, dried fruit, and blue cheese on a bed of greens.  I bought gorgonzola dolce this week as it was on sale (along with the apples and pears that are now in season) and decided that this would be my cheese of choice.  Gorgonzola dolce is a semi-soft blue cheese, similar in consistency to a brie or camembert. It is sweeter and softer than standard gorgonzola, with a little less funk due to the shorter aging process, and is well-suited for this sweetish preparation.

I kept it simple this time with just the apples and cheese, because it is first thing in the morning and I didn't want to fuss, but this could be taken in so many different directions.  This could be presented as a salad course, perched on a bed of lightly dressed baby spinach (with perhaps the aforementioned dried fruit, candied nuts, or maybe some croutons), or as a first course with crostini for spreading the softened cheese and apple.  I immediately thought of a balsamic reduction being delicious with this combination.  It could be made into a simple but sophisticated dessert with a drizzle of good honey, and maybe sweet bread toast (I'm thinking the kind of date-nut bread that often accompanies a cheese course).  Of course, it could be baked in the oven instead, but I've chosen to microwave it in this case and it came out wonderfully.

Savory-sweet Microwave Baked Apples

1 apple (mine was a Cripps Pink)
1-1.5 oz gorgonzola dolce

Core the apple, leaving the peel intact. Microwave in a bowl for 2 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from microwave and stuff gorgonzola into the hole where the core was.  You are looking for it to be a little bit overstuffed and the cheese becomes almost liquid when melted.  Return to microwave for an additional 20-30 seconds, until cheese has melted.

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