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Apples, apples everywhere! Fall is definitely the best time to pick your own apples in the northern part of the US. Try to visit your local orchard and pick your own, it is very much worth the effort!
I love finding creative ways to grill apples, like this inside out caramel apple idea. Here is an easy and fun idea for apples stuffed with pork and bacon, sounds pretty awesome doesn’t it?
In this recipe I am using an ebelskiver to bake the apples but if you don’t have one you can use aluminum foil to create small “doughnuts” to sit the apple upright on the grill. Remember to use the largest apples you can find, so you can stuff them as full as possible!
Apples Baked with Pork and Bacon
By Chef Matt Jost
Serves: 6 people
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
GBS ebelskever pan
6 apple wood chunks for a charcoal grill or a handful of apple chips if using a gas grill
For the stuffing:
6 slices smoked bacon, thick cut, dice small
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ cup sweet onion, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon serrano pepper, stemmed and minced - Optional
½ cup hard cider (your favorite variety)
1 pinch kosher salt
4 grinds black pepper, from a pepper grinder
3 apples, honey crisp is the best variety
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stemmed and minced
2 tablespoon parsley, stemmed and minced
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 pound ground pork, fresh ground
1. Prepare the grill for indirect grilling over medium heat (350-400 degrees) and allow your grill to preheat your for 10-15 minutes.
2. Cook the bacon in a pan on the side burner until the fat is rendered and the bacon has browned.
3. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until soft.
4. Add the cider, salt, pepper and sand serrano pepper (if desired) and reduce until almost dry.
5. Pour the mix onto a plate or pan and let cool for 15 minutes before mixing with the pork.
6. Once cool, pour the mix into a small bowl and add the breadcrumbs, ground pork and parsley. Mix until well combined with the pork.
7. Cut each apple in half (through the stem) and use a melon baller to dig out the seeds, discard the core and seeds. Then scoop the flesh of the apple until it is ½” thickness deep and has a bowl shape. Chop the leftover scooped apple and add it to the pork mix. Stir well.
8. Position the apple shells in the pockets of the ebelskiver, with the open side facing up (alternately, you can create rings with aluminum foil and set the apples in those so they stay upright).
9. Scoop the pork mix into the apple, pressing it down to fill the inside. Distribute the mix among all 6 apples, mounding on top, if necessary.
10. Once the grill has been set-up and has been pre-heated, add the apple wood chunks or wood chips to a smoker box (make sure that the chips have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes). Close the lid and wait for the smoke to appear.
11. Once the smoke has started, place the apples on the center of the grill (indirect) and close the lid.
12. Cook the apples until the pork mix in the center has reached at least 160F in two places. It should take about 30 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer for best results.
13. Serve the stuffed apples hot with your favorite cider!
Keep the coals hot!