I’ll admit that I wasn’t too familiar with Bosnian cuisine when I was given this assignment. What I was delighted to discover is that its focus is truly on the ingredients at the heart of the dish. While I am a big fan of sauces and accompaniments to any dish, I also appreciate dishes whose simplicity let the ingredients shine. Such is the case with this delicious dessert.
Typically, each tufahija (tufahije is plural) is poached in a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water), but I decided to put a Canadian spin on it and use maple syrup instead. The result is that the poached apples are imbued with a delicate, delicious nutty flavour which pairs perfectly with the hazelnut mixture within. All these components complement the apple itself, which remains the star of the show. This dessert is easy to do for both small and large groups, and can be prepared well in advance of your next fall or winter party… or just a cozy night in. Enjoy!
• 4 Gala apples (any baking apple will do!)
• Juice of half a lemon
• 3-1/2 cups water
• 1-1/2 cups maple syrup
• 400 g Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
• 2/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, crushed
• 1/8 tsp nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp cinnamon
1. Peel the apples and core them, taking out a bit more beyond the centre for the filling. Immerse the apples in lemon water so they do not oxidize.
2. In a saucepot, combine the water and maple syrup and heat up to a gentle simmer, on medium heat.
3. Place the apples in the syrup and poach gently until tender but still holding their shape, approximately 15–18 minutes.
4. Take the apples out gently and allow to cool, and set the poaching liquid aside to reserve.
5. Place the hazelnuts in a bag and, using a rolling pin or mallet, crush them to a fine texture.
6. Incorporate the nuts thoroughly into the yogurt, and mix the spices in as well.
7. Fill the cooled apples with the yogurt mixture.
8. Ladle some of the poaching liquid over the apple. Garnish with more hazelnuts, and optionally a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The apples can be served room temperature or chilled.