Chef Mario Batali gives the homegrown Empire apple a full Italiano makeover, stuffing them with figs, drizzling them with Moscato d’Asti, and then topping them off with a piece of Gorgonzola dolce, like a jaunty little Borsalino cap.
1 cup sugar
1 cup Moscato d’Asti
1 cinnamon stick
4 tbs. butter, cut into cubes, plus 2 tbs. for the pan
6 medium apples
3 ripe figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise
6 ounces Gorgonzola dolce or cremificato, cut into 1-ounce pieces at room temperature
Preheat oven to 375. Place the sugar, wine, and cinnamon stick in a
saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat, and
simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the consistency of a thin syrup.
Remove from heat, and stir in the cubes of butter. (1) Core the apples, and peel them if you prefer. (2)
Stuff each fig half into the cavities of the apples. Butter the sides
and bottom of a deep baking dish, and place the apples upright in the
dish. Pour the Moscato syrup over the apples, place the dish in the
oven, and bake for 35 minutes, periodically basting the apples with the
pan juices, until the apples are soft but still standing. Remove baking
dish from oven, and (3) place a piece of Gorgonzola on top of
each fig. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a spoonful of the pan
juices over the top. Adapted from Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals From My Home to Yours (Ecco; $29.99).