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Secret Sonoma Recipe: Baked Gravenstein Apple with Bacon, Cornbread and Porcini Stuffing

The Gravenstein Apple Fair celebrates its 40th year this weekend!  Known as “the sweetest little fair in Sonoma County”, The Gravenstein Apple Fair is still going strong thanks to its sponsor and the dedicated people at Sonoma County Farm Trails.  This non-profit organization supports sustainable agricultural diversity in Sonoma County through the promotion of its members’ products.

The fair takes place August 10th and 11th under the shady oaks of Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol.  It features good old-fashioned fun with arts & crafts vendors, live music, food, contests, children’s activities, and a taste of life on the farm.

There is also a Chef’s Demo tent sponsored by Relish Culinary School that features cooking demonstrations by local chefs using the celebrated Gravenstein apple.  Here is one of those recipes from Brandon Guenther, executive chef at Rocker Oysterfeller’s in Valley Ford.

Recipe: Baked Gravenstein Apple with Bacon, Cornbread & Porcini Stuffing
by Brandon Guenther, Rocker Oysterfeller’s

  • 15 grams   Dried Porcini Mushrooms (about .5 ounces)
  • ¼ Cup        Boiling Water
  • ½ Cup        Cornbread Crumbles
  • 2 strips      Applewood Bacon
  • 2                Green Onions
  • ½ stalk       Celery, small dice
  • 1 leaf         Fresh Sage, chiffonade
  • 6                Gravenstein Apples
  • 1 stick        Butter, salted
  • 1 tablespoon        Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon    Sugar

Soak porcini mushrooms in boiling water. Once softened, remove mushrooms from water, reserving water, and chop into a small dice.

Toast cornbread crumbles in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned (about 8 minutes).

Cut bacon crosswise into ¼ inch sections and render in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon from pan, reserving the fat in the pan.

Cut green onions into ⅛ inch rings, separating green tops from white bases. Sauté white sections of onions with chopped celery and mushrooms in the reserved bacon fat over medium heat until slightly softened (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat.

Fold toasted cornbread, sage and reserved mushroom liquid into sauté pan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble apples, using an apple corer, remove cores of all six apples. Cut ¼-inch off of the top of each apple. With a small spoon, carve out the center of each apple three-quarters of the way down, leaving ½-inch sidewalls. Rub apples inside and out with butter and sprinkle with sugar and salt. Fill apples with the stuffing and bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until apples soften.

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