Sage + Gruyere Baked Apple

I gave you a sweet version of a baked apple – but a savoury one works just as well. There is something so intriguing and versatile about the apple – it makes a lovely pie, a cake, a relish, a chutney… and also goes superbly well with almost every kind of cheese. The Gujarati in me enjoys sweetness in every meal – a discovery I learnt at a very late age. I grew up on meals with many regional and international influences, but surprisingly less of Gujarati (both my parents are pure-bred Gujaratis but don’t eat so). It was only after moving to Ahmedabad did I really experiment with the local cuisine. I discovered that I enjoy Gujarati dal and kadi with a lot more sweetness than what I grew up with. I am beginning to warm to the idea of eating mango ras with roti and puranpuri as well – not quite there, but give me a few more years. That’s the beauty of food habits – they tend to grow on you. My parents were strict at the table – if we didn’t like anything that was given, we didn’t get any other food and were served that for the consequent 3 days until we learned to eat it up or go hungry. Sounds military-esque, but it worked. This is how you build tastes and encourage kids to try new foods. In other words, we were far from pampered and spoilt.

I remembered all this simply because for this recipe the tables had turned last week, and I forced my mother to eat this. She was being fussy, grumbly and cranky about trying this delicious baked apple, and I put it in front of her, until she had no choice. She liked it. PROOF that if you force feed, it will work. She’s now put this recipe up for her next dinner party (and pretty sure she’ll claim the credit too and we shall bicker in front of the guests!). So, if you have kids or fussy adults, try to take this route, and see the beauty and ease of traveling with your kids the next time!

Here, I stuff the apples with ground almonds, cranberries, sage, grainy mustard, onions and gruyere cheese – the combination is an utter delight on the palate. This is a great side dish to pasta, rice or quinoa. If you don’t have gruyere, you can opt for any other strong flavoured cheese that complements the apple well (ementhal, gouda, Britannia block cheese, Swiss).

The Recipe
Serves 1


  • 1 crisp apple
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 3-5 sage leaves
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds


  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper
  • Slice the top part of the apple for the lid and set aside
  • Gently using a melon-baller, scoop out the inside of the apple, careful not to reach the bottom
  • Set aside the apple parts that you’ve removed and finely chop them up
  • Place a pan on medium heat and add the chopped up apples, onions, grainy mustard, sage leaves, cranberries, salt and pink peppercorns
  • Cook the filling until all are soft and then stir in the ground almonds and gruyere cheese
  • Stuff this filling into the apple and cover with the lid
  • Bake for 20 minutes