For the Ricotta Cream:
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier
For the Apples:
- 6 large apples, such as Gravenstein, Ida Red, or Northern Spy
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup (5.5 ounces) cropped almonds
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon applejack or other apple brandy (can substitute sweet apple cider)
1. To make the Ricotta Cream, place the ricotta, sugar, cream, and liqueur in a small bowl and stir until well blended and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Wash the apples well and core, but do not peel. Scoop out enough of the center to leave a 1-inch space that does not extend through to the bottom of the apple.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the dried cranberries, almonds, brown sugar, and butter until well blended. Place 1 tablespoon of the cranberry mixture in the cavity of each apple. Place the apples in a 9-inch glass pie plate and pour 1/2 cup of the applejack around the apples. Add water so that the liquid comes about 1 inch up the sides of the apples. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of applejack evenly over the filling in the apples. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the apples are tender.
4. Serve warm or cold, topped with a generous dollop of Ricotta Cream.
From The New England Table