Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mele Cotte con Amaretti (Cooked Apples with Amaretti) From the Orchard: Tessa Kiros

We are cooking "From the Orchard" at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week, selecting recipes featuring fall fruit from Tessa Kiros. I wanted something quick and easy to make before heading out of town to Portland for a visit, so I chose the simple Mele Cotte con Amaretti or Cooked Apples with Amaretti from Venezia: Food and Dreams by Tessa Kiros.

Tessa says, "This is a very simple, homestyle desert. I like to make it with 2 green and 2 red apples—not because I can see any difference at the end, but it looks great before it goes into the oven! If you are serving more than 4 people, you can easily add a couple more apples and just increase the other ingredients accordingly. It’s best to use a baking dish that fits the apples fairly snugly."

Mele Cotte con Amaretti (Cooked Apples with Amaretti)
From Venezia by Tessa Kiros
(Serves 4)

4 lovely apples
10 small amaretti cookies
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp grappa or brandy (I used Calvados [Apple Brandy])
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups white wine
2 strips orange peel

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Core the apples, leaving the apples in one piece. Prick the peel a few times with the point of a sharp knife. Using a mortar and pestle (or rolling pin or heavy bottle), crush the amaretti with the raisins and 1 tablespoon of the sugar until roughly smashed. Add the grappa, mix well, and stuff into the center of each apple.

Put the apples in a baking dish and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the tops. Divide the butter into four and put a blob on top of each apple. Pour the wine around the apples, then add the final tablespoon of sugar and the orange peel to the wine. Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until tender. Uncover and cook for another 20 minutes, basting the apples with the pan juices a couple of times, until they are well cooked but not split.

Remove the cooked apples from the dish, turn the oven temperature right up, and return the dish to the oven to reduce the sauce until golden (or do this on the stovetop). Serve the apples warm, or at room temperature, with the juice spooned up and around.

Notes/Results: Simple, homey and good--like an apple pie without the crust. These apples are an adult dessert--sweet but not too sweet and with a hit of flavor from the brandy (I used apple brandy) and white wine. The amaretti
and golden raisins make a nicely textured filling. This is a dessert that says "orchard in the fall" and I would make it again.

You can see what orchard delights the other IHCC peeps made this week by going to the post (here) and following the links.

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I will continue be a bit absent this week from the blogging world as I am spending my time hanging out in Portland with my family. Souper Sundays is still on and it's the 3rd Anniversary of this weekly event--so if you have a soup, salad or sandwich and want to join in the Anniversary Round Up on Sunday, I would love to have you.


  1. I love the flavor of baked apples...and this is even better without the crust! Means you can have two, no guilt. :P

  2. I don't think there is anything quite as warm and comforting as a baked apple. Like Joanne said, you can enjoy the apple pie flavors without the guilt of actually eating pie!

  3. Oh, I can just imagine the taste of the amaretti in there, it sounds wonderful. I happen to love baked apples. Hope you're enjoying your time =)

  4. I'm with Joanne - even better without crust! Love it. I'm making these tonight - can't wait!

  5. Beautiful, Deb! Perfect pick for the orchard theme (pardon the pun). Would love to smell this baking in my oven.

  6. Baked apples are one of my childhood favorites. I will definitely remember this one. Hey Deb check out the Plum Sauce post on my blog,You were the giveaway winner!

  7. Yum...baked apples is something that I haven't tried yet but I know I would love. This dish screams "from the orchard". I love it!

    Hope you're having a great time in Portland!

  8. that looks so perfect for autumn, enjoy your time in portland!

  9. Anything apple pie-like is a win in my book. Your pics look amazing.

  10. Great pictures, and I just want to try this even more now!

  11. I love baked apples. Delicious and such a healthy dessert as well!

  12. I haven't had baked apples since I was a kid, but this sure doesn't look the baked apples my mum used to make. Love the amaretti filling and the shot of calvados!
    Sue xo

  13. Those looks delicious! I love desserts that go together like this and are fun to take apart as you eat them. Also, don't you love Amaretti Cookies...something that comes wrapped in its own little paper just seems like a party all by itself! I will definitely give these a try this weekend...we have lots of apples from our orchard visit!

  14. You can never go wrong with Baked Apples! :) Always looking for new recipes. Thanks for this delicious sounding dish!


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