In partnership with CK Mondavi & Family
Easy Christmas Baked Apples
When I think of Autumnal harvests, and the fruits of labor; the apple along with the new wines of the season are most definitive. There are few tables in the months of November and December in which one or both are not represented in some form.
Composers, Rodgers and Hammerstein considers something in the apple dessert family as one of their favorite things. You know how the song goes, “Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, Doorbells and sleigh bells And schnitzel with noodles”. Appropriate to this story, “My Favorite Things” has become a favorite tune sang during the Holidays.
Late November introduces us to some of the new wines of the season in countries such as Italy with their Vino Novello and France with their Beaujolais Nouveau. These two wines are usually in the form of crisp, young, very drinkable red wines, which pair well with all things apple and other late Autumn and Holiday dishes.
Though white, a California wine that is akin in crispness and drinkability to the aforementioned is the 2016 Chardonnay by CK Mondavi and Family. For us, it’s the perfect accompaniment to one of our new Christmas dish creations which we simply named, Christmas Apple Bake.
This recipe uses cheese and good butter, which optimizes the wonderful nuances of not just the baked apples, but also the depths of the wine. And with the addition of dried cranberries and sugar, every bite and sip is an explosion of traditional Holiday flavors in the mouth.
Think of mulled wines, fondue, apple pie aromas wafting through the air at an open market. This is the inspiration for this recipe. Being New Yorkers, we have an affinity for the Northeast corridor and therefore we are drawn to the food and agricultural elements of the region, especially when the cold months arrive. Apples and cheddar are representative of this. And with the addition of a West Coast wine, I can’t think of better flavor profiles.
Mostly, this recipe is a product of Christmas memories. As a young boy born of immigrant parents, I remember sitting by the television on a cold December day, watching a movie all by myself as my parents worked. The movie was set during Christmas where a character played by Max von Sydow lives in a cabin near the Austrian Alps.
His sense of solitary was akin to mine, as he sat by the fireplace melting “good cheddar” as he called it, over some apple pie. The fire flickered as he introduced the cheddar to it, just as the lights on our Christmas tree did on the reflection of the television screen. Ironically, I don’t remember the name of the movie, but it stayed with me and ever since, I’ve loved the combination of apple and cheddar.
If you are looking to bring something to the Holiday table this year that is easy to prepare and maybe stir up some of your guests’ Christmas memories, try this Dish Our Town recipe made and paired with CK Mondavi and Family Chardonnay.
Look for CK Mondavi’s special holiday promotions on their wine bottles in stores now through January 31, 2019.Print
The flavors of Christmas in an easy bake recipe.
– 4 organic Fuji apples
– brown sugar
– dried cranberries
– cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Core tops of apples.
Add apples to non-stick baking pan
Add 1/4 cup CK Mondavi Chardonnay to pan
Bake 15 minutes
Add butter and brown sugar
Bake for 15 minutes
Add chopped cheddar cheese & cranberries, bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Drizzle some of the juice left on the bottom of the pan and serve.
Pair with CK Monday and Family 2016 Chardonnay.
Keywords: Christmas, Holiday, table, baking, apples, cranberries, wine, cheddar, chardonnay
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