"The maple-coated sausage mixed with the sweet apples had all the fitting flavors of an autumn meal."
I love this time of year, when the supermarkets bust out the big bins of deliciously fresh apples and fill one after another. I picked up a half-dozen the other day, thinking I'd make a grilled dessert out of them, only to see these beautiful stuffed apples on Another Pint Please. I knew I had to make them.
Learning from my mistake with sausage stuffed peppers, I made sure the stuffing of sausage, onion, celery and sage was fully cooked before filling the hollowed-out apples. Once stuffed, they were drizzled with maple syrup and topped with a small dollop of butter, then grilled over indirect heat with some applewood for about an hour. At this point the apples were slightly soft, retaining some crispness, but we weren't ready to eat, so I left them on the cooling grill to stay warm for another 15 minutes or so to soften.
The jury was divided, half of us liked the soft apples, half wished they were a little crisper, but everyone agreed that they were good fall eats. The maple-coated sausage mixed with the sweet apples had all the fitting flavors of an autumn meal.
Grilled Sausage Stuffed Apples
Adapted from BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 12 ounces of pork or chicken sausage
- 4 fresh sage leaves, minced
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 6 large apples
- 1 chunk of applewood or other light smoking wood
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and sage. Increase the heat to high, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the stuffing to a strainer set over a bowl to drain off the excess fat, reserving the fat for basting. Let the stuffing cool to room temperature.
Using a melon baller, apple corer, or paring knife, remove the core from each apple creating a large cavity, being careful not to cut all of the way through the apple. Spoon the stuffing into the apples. Pour a little maple syrup over the stuffing. Top each apple with a small piece of the remaining butter. Brush the outside of the apples with the reserved fat.