Last month a group of eight of my dearest lady farming friends gathered to celebrate the end of the busy harvest season with a shared meal. Over farm fresh salads with the fall’s first greens, root vegetables, chicken soup and sourdough bread the eight of us tallied over 70 years growing experience amongst us! We rarely get to share time and as we licked our plates clean one of us had to run off to begin filling orders for the Thanksgiving season. The time, though short, was a gift. I made these apples for each to take home as a treat to be baked and enjoyed that evening.
The end of harvest season brings wonderful earthy tastes to the table: Frost-sweetened root vegetables and the first greens of the fall. For livestock farmers pork is the flavor of late fall and winter. Apples are everywhere and are spiced with warming herbs and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. This recipe combines the fall apples with sausage and fresh sage and uses holiday meal leftovers like cornbread and stuffing to create a beautiful stuffed apple.
When I made this dish for the meal with my friends I didn’t get a good picture of the lovely apples. In an effort to take a better picture I made the recipe again on a lazy weekend morning. My daughter was floating in and out of the kitchen asking how to spell things for her Christmas cards and looking for bites to nibble. I scooped about some of the sausage hash and she loved it. She immediately picked up on the sweetness the apple had added to the familiar flavors of the sausage and onions. My family loves fried eggs so, quite by accident, I discovered that this recipe could provide two meals at one time. I finished the sausage hash and served it under a runny fried egg for brunch.
I love cooking once and eating two or three meals from one meal preparation. In a household with young children it’s a time-saving skill and one that many of us do without having to refer to a recipe. There are I quantities listed here. Use one pound and one small onion for a single meal. Add another pound of sausage and a few more celery ribs to stretch the meal preparation to two meals. I hope this recipe makes it to your winter table in one way or another!
Sausage Stuffed Apples and a Beautiful Bonus Brunch
Leftover stuffing or cornbread
Cut apples in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and apple core. Discard seeds and chop apple pulp and set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat brown sausage in crumbles and add celery, onion, and a bit of chopped fresh sage. When the sausage is almost browned to completion add the leftover stuffing or cornbread and chopped apple pulp. Stir gently to combine and warm all ingredients.
At this point serve the sausage hash with a runny fried egg on top for a delicious breakfast or brunch.
To make the apples take about 1/4 cup of the sausage hash and stuff each apple. Place the halves apples in a shallow baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until the flesh of the apple is fork tender. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh sage.