Farro, an ancient Italian hulled wheat grain that is both soft and tender in texture, has a delicate chewy quality and comes with some major versatility. It is actually becoming my favourite of the grain family. It feels a bit heartier than rice so it is prefect for salads and soups and its slightly nutty flavour goes extremely well with honey, maple or nuts which make it a perfect companion for those sweet healthy dishes as well. I tend to get most creative when I am craving something but not completely sure what exactly it is that I am craving. When I came up with this recipe I knew I was craving baked apples but I wanted to stuff them with something other than good ol’ oats as I wanted the stuffed mixture to have a bit of a chew to it, more substance I suppose and the first grain that came to mind was farro.
Well actually I first made this recipe with freekeh first because that is what I had on hand, and it was good but it didn’t really cut it. Plus it was the cracked freekeh so it had a consistency that was more like quinoa which like oats was just too soft and not chewy enough for what I was looking for. But it does work so if all you have on hand is freekeh by all means this recipe will still be delicious.
The farro version though was everything that I have been dreaming and craving in a baked apple. The chewiness is perfect and the nuts get slightly toasted in the oven which brings out the nuttiness in the farro even more. This recipe is the epitome of fall and the house smells like absolute heaven as the apples and farro are baking together in the perfect of medleys.
I have served it two ways now, one with coconut ice cream and one with cinnamon whipped cream (which by the way might be the best whipped cream I have ever made)…both are delicious, the ice cream adds a bit more creaminess as it is thicker and holds together a little better on the warm apple but the cinnamon whipped cream is just as delightful and the added extra cinnamon really pops.
Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or a Sunday night sweet craving this recipe will be made again and again over the Fall season in my house.
sweet farro stuffed baked apple blossoms
½ cup farro
4 gala apples
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup white wine
3 tbsp of pure maple syrup
3 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of cinnamon
cinnamon whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp of vanilla
2 tbsp of maple syrup
½ tsp of cinnamon
Cook farro according to package.
(Add ½ cup of farro to 1 ½ cups of water, bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes or until grains are tender and have absorbed all the water).
Core the apples and hollow out the middle making a medium hole (for the stuffing). Chop the pecans and add to a small bowl with the cranberries, butter and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly with your hands to combine the butter with the nuts.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
When the farro is cooked, strain under cool water and then add to the nut mixture. Pour in the maple syrup and mix.
Place your cored out apples on a oiled baking sheet and add some of the farro mixture to each, filling the hole and heaping it on top. Add any extra farro around the apples and pour the white wine into the pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the white wine has been absorbed and the apples are tender.
Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.