Baked Apples with Vanilla & Ceylon Cinnamon Cream
Pecan Stuffed Baked Apples with Fragrant Cream Sauce Infused with Cinnamon Quills, Vanilla Beans, Cloves, Cardamom, and Nutmeg
These healthy baked apples with vanilla and cinnamon cream are made with Sri Lankan Ceylon Cinnamon Quills. Ceylon cinnamon quills contain a natural sweetness, eliminating the need for added sugar—though, should you prefer a sweeter dish, a tablespoon of maple syrup added to the base of the removed apple core can’t hurt. Another trait of Ceylon cinnamon is its clean-tasting, delicate spiciness. It’s much less harsh than its Cassia counterpart. As such, when infused into a cream sauce, it won’t overpower the smooth, sweet essence of the heavy cream.
The vanilla caviar rounds out this dish by contributing a deep, earthy vanilla flavor that is rich and comforting. Your taste buds may even be a little confused, as these cinnamon baked apples seem to teeter on the borderline between sweet and savory.
Enjoy it as a decadent breakfast, a healthy dessert, or even as an unexpected side to braised meats and other slow-cooked winter favorites.
Pecan Stuffed Baked Apples with Fragrant Vanilla and Cinnamon Cream Sauce
- 4 large apples
- 4 tablespoons sweet cream butter
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
- 16 whole cloves
- 2 Ceylon cinnamon quills
- 1 whole fresh nutmeg
- Vanilla seeds from two vanilla beans
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 pinches sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons of water
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Using a melon baller or paring knife, remove the cores from the apples, leaving just enough at the base of the apple to ensure the butter and cream don’t flow right through them.
- Optional: peel strips of the skin from the apples, peel completely, or leave intact (I don’t care for the skin but think it adds to the appearance of the dish so I prefer the strips, which look nice and are easy to remove with a fork once baked).
- Toast your cloves, cinnamon quills, and nutmeg over medium heat until their fragrance begins wafting through the kitchen. Shake the pan occasionally to ensure the spices don’t burn.
- Remove the spices and let the pan cool. Once it has cooled, add the cinnamon quills, * of the cloves, and cardamom and simmer for 12 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
- Using a mortar and pestle, grind the remaining 8 cloves and set aside.
- Grease a baking dish with the coconut oil and put the apples in it.
- Place ⅓ tablespoon of butter at the base of each apple followed by 1 tablespoon of pecans, then another ⅓ tablespoon of butter, then another 1 tablespoons of pecans, and top with another ⅓ tablespoon of butter.
- Pour the cream sauce through a sieve to catch the large pieces of cinnamon and clove.
- Stir the vanilla caviar into the cream sauce.
- Carefully pour the cream sauce into the apples to fill any remaining space in the core. Drizzle more of the cream sauce over the outside of the apples, reserving 1 cup for serving.
- Pour water around the base of the dish but not over the apples.
- Bake the apples for 40 minutes.
- Carefully transfer each apple to a plate.
- Sprinkle the apples with sea salt.
- Drizzle ¼ cup of cream over each apple.
- Top with the remaining pecans.
- Grate about ¼ teaspoon of the toasted nutmeg atop each of the apples.
Looking for something a little lighter, try this simple papaya bowl with yogurt, fresh berries and a sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon.