- 6 firm baking apples (such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Crispin, or Pippin)
- 1/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/4¬†cup (1/2¬†stick) soft unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 2 teaspoons finely grated or minced lemon zest
- 2/3 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 2 ounces (1/3 cup) chopped dark chocolate (1 use 80 percent cocoa content)
- l 1/2¬†cups sweet Marsala wine, divided
- Optional accompaniment:
- Softly whipped heavy cream, unsweetened
These are the most delicious roasted apples I have¬†eaten, with the hitter chocolate (typical of Northern Italy) and lemm0n zest adding depth and¬†hrightness. I recommend using a chocolate with eighty percent cocoa content for this recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a small baking dish, roughly 8 by 10 inches.
- Slice a thin layer off the bottom of the apples and discard; this levels the apples out so¬†that they have a stable base upon which to stand during roasting. Slice 1/2 inch off the tops of the¬†apples, and set the tops to one side. Peel the apple bases. Then, using a small teaspoon, scrape out¬†an inch-diameter core from each apple, making sure not to cut through the bottom.
- Mix together 3 tablespoons of the sugar with the butter, lemon zest, hazelnuts, and chocolate.
- Spoon this filling into the center of the apples, mounding any extra on top. Drizzle the exposed¬†apples with the 1/2 cup of the Marsala, and cover them with their tops. Pour the rest of the Marsala¬†over the apples and sprinkle them with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
- Bake for 45 minutes, basting the apples with the hot Marsala a few times during their¬†roasting. The apples are done when a toothpick can be inserted into them easily.
- Serve warm, with¬†Marsala spooned over the apples and whipped cream on the side.