I discovered this recipe while visiting the Devonshire village of Yealmpton. There is a thatched roof cottage reputed to be Old Mother Hubbard’s cottage. It is a charming 400 year old thatched roof cob cottage that has been turned into a tea shop. When last I was there they served these delectable baked apples.
Perfect Pastry or favorite recipe
1 cup ricotta (or fresh curd if you can find it which is doubtful)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
A few grindings of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 large baking apples
Egg wash – (1 raw egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water)
Raw, Turbinado or Demerrara sugar
Make the pastry, pat into one-inch thick disks, wrap in plastic and chill. Preheat the oven to 550°. Mix the ricotta and next seven ingredients together and chill. Core the apples but do not peel. Fill the cored apples with the cheese mixture and set aside. Remove a piece of pastry from the refrigerator and roll out to be a bit less than one-quarter inch thick. Cut into pieces large enough to encase each filled apple. Pinch all the edges well to seal. Place the apples about an inch apart in a baking dish. Paint each apple with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with raw sugar. Place in the center of the oven and bake at 500° or 550° for five minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and continue to bake for another forty to forty-five minutes, or until the apples are very tender when pierced with a slim skewer. Serve hot or cold. If you wish to really guild the lily, pour a bit of thick cream over each when served.
Old Mother Hubbard's Cottage - Yealmpton, South Devon, England