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Take the chill off of winter evenings with this warm, creamy-sweet combination of ricotta cheese, cranberries and brandied apples. It makes the the perfect sweet ending to your next meal.
- 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or 2 tablespoons other orange-flavored liqueur
- finely grated lemon zest from 1 small lemon
- 6 large apples (Good Choices ( Golden Delicious, Rome, Cortland)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2⁄3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 3⁄4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon apple brandy
- Ricotta Cream:.
- In a small bowl add the ricotta cheese, cinnamon, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and liqueur; mix well until well blended and smooth. Refrigerate.
- Baked Apples:.
- Place rack in the center position of oven.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash apples well; core. Peel off the skin around the top, leaving two-thirds of the apple unpeeled.
- Hollow out about a 1 1/2-inch wide by 2 1/2-inch deep cavity in the center of each apple (a grapefruit spoon works well for this). Score the apples with the tip of a knife to prevent them from bursting while baking.
- Place the apples in a 9-inch oven-proof glass pie dish.
- Mix together the dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and butter in a small bowl. Blend well.
- Evenly fill the apples with the cranberry/walnut filling.
- Pour the 3/4 cup of apple brandy around the apples. If necessary, add water so that the liquid comes about 1-inch up the sides of the apples.
- Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of apple brandy evenly over the filling in the apples.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the apples are tender.
- Serve warm, topped with a generous dollop of the sweet ricotta cream and a sprinkling of lemon zest.