Stuffed Apples with Cardamom Cream

This is a delicious Persian desert often served at celebrations throughout Iran and neighbouring countries. It’s a simple combination of baked apples stuffed with sweet pilaf rice, and served with gently fragrant saffron cream. This recipe serves four people.


4 large cooking apples, e.g. Bramleys
1/2 cup basmati rice
A handful of dates, apricots and sultanas, roughly chopped
A handful of almonds and pinenuts, roughly chopped
A few threads of saffron
50ml milk (or non-dairy milk)
2 tblsp runny honey
Cream (or non-dairy cream)
A few cardamom pods

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Gently warm the milk in a pan over a low heat, then remove it from the heat and dissolve the saffron threads and honey into it. Leave to steep for while you prepare the other ingredients.


Place the rice in a pan with 1 1/2 cups of cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn to the lowest heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, mix with the milk-saffron solution, and cover again for a few minutes. Then mix in the fruit and nuts.

Wash and core the apples, then stuff them with the rice and nuts mix. Bake in a covered dish for 20 minutes.

Whilst the apples are cooking, make the cardamom cream by extracting the seeds from a few cardamom pods, grinding them finely in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle, and then mixing thoroughly with your cream or non-dairy alternative.

Serve the apples drizzled with the cardamom cream.

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