Wisconsin Edam Baked Apples with Hazelnuts
by Erin Clarke of The Law Student’s Wife
Wisconsin Edam is a cheese lover’s dream. Buttery, creamy and slightly nutty, it reminds me of a glorious fusion of Gouda and Cheddar. The flavor is so satisfying that Wisconsin Edam can stand on its own, making it a superb choice for cheese plates. It pairs well with a variety of wines (try a dry white, fruity red or sparkling cider), but don’t limit your options to vino. I‘ve served Wisconsin Edam with a local pale ale, and the two were a match made in Wisconsin heaven!
Wisconsin Edam melts beautifully, making it an ideal choice for grown-up grilled cheese, omelets and even soufflés. Its nutty, earthy flavor inspired Wisconsin Edam Baked Apples with Hazelnuts. I adore the way the cheese bubbles inside the apples, transforming them from a humble fruit to a dish worthy of a special occasion.
We bake the apples in a quick combination of red wine, butter and apple cider, adding depth of flavor and all-around irresistibility. The apples become tender and sweeten in the oven; the hazelnuts add crunch and complement the Wisconsin Edam’s nutty flavor; and a touch of thyme adds savoryness. The hearty, cozy flavor of Wisconsin Edam Baked Apples with Hazelnuts conjures images of crackling fireplaces and snowy days spent indoors with friends.
Because Wisconsin Edam Baked Apples with Hazelnuts can be served warm or at room temperature, they are an excellent choice for buffet tables and parties. Alternatively, they can be eaten with a green salad for a delightful lunch. Whether you choose to enjoy Wisconsin Edam on your next panini, with a crisp pale ale or in the recipe for Wisconsin Edam Baked Apples with Hazelnuts, don’t miss this wonderful cheese. Its creamy flavor, nuttiness and total delectability belong in your life right this second!
By Erin Clarke of The Law Student’s Wife
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
6 firm, lightly tart baking apples, such as Cortland, McIntosh or Granny Smith
1/4 cup apple cider
1 cup light, fruity red wine, such as Pinot Noir
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Edam Cheese, coarsely grated
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Place rack in middle position of oven. Preheat to 375°F. Butter 9×13-inch pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and set aside.
Cut apples in half from top to bottom (stem to base). With small spoon or melon baller, hollow out small hole in center of each half, removing core. Lay apples, cut side down, in baking dish. Drizzle with melted butter and apple cider. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, until apples begin to soften.
Remove apples from oven and turn each over in pan. Spoon butter-cider sauce over halves. Add red wine, pouring evenly. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Fill each hollowed core with Edam, piling any additional cheese on each top. Return pan to oven. Bake additional 15 – 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with chopped hazelnuts. Transfer apples to serving plate and drizzle with remaining sauce from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make-ahead tip: Prepare apples through drizzling with butter and cider, then cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, set pan on counter for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature, then proceed with recipe as directed.
Storage tip: Refrigerate leftover Wisconsin Edam Baked Apples with Hazelnuts up to 3 days. Reheat gently in microwave.