Baked Apples “Mendiant” with Caramel Sauce (aka Beggar’s Baked Apples)

French Fridays with Dorie

Baked Apples “Mendiant” with Caramel Sauce
Dear Dorie,

Please forgive me for I have sinned. Well, perhaps ‘sinned’ is too strong a word but I had to make some substitutions for this week’s French Friday’s with Dorie assignment. [Gasp!] I know what you are probably saying, “Silly Sis Boom, people make substitutions all the time with recipes. That certainly is no sin! Gosh, I even encourage such creativity with my Bonne Idée sidebars.” This is true Dorie but I usually eschew substitutions for food projects unless absolutely necessary. Heck, I’ve even been known to chortle privately at Doristas who substitute too aggressively and then end up with something completely unrecognizable (or inedible?) and then wonder where they went wrong. Now I am guilty of substitution frenzy and feeling a bit guilty about it.

I just couldn’t help myself! I’d feel a lot worse if it didn’t taste so good!
I’m sure that under normal circumstances subbing an ingredient or two would not get any notice. I only made two substitutions on this dish and ended up transforming what was to be your pasta entre into an incredible dessert!

As I read through the recipe (in addition to your book you also posted it on your blog) I thought the ingredient list looked quite good. Just not for a pasta. Too each his own, right? So in thinking about substitutions I traded apples for the linguine and made a caramel sauce for the Parmesan. I guess I just didn’t think my family would go much for the ‘pasta with granola’ vibe I as getting off this dish. (I was also a bit chicken to ask them to try.)

I realize the outcome is not much of an innovation. People make baked apples all the time but after reading the back story to your recipe, the one about mendiants, monastic orders and beggars, I will never think the same way about this simple baked treat. I’ve even renamed it Baked Apples Mendiant in your honor. Whoever thought those French Christmas treat mendiants, with their disk of chocolate, fried fruits and nuts would inspire a pasta?

The caramel sauce (my stand in for the chocolate mendiant disk) is quite easy to make (as you know) and adding a splash of lemon juice to it sets the apple off nicely. Once its on the plate and you cut it open the mendiantastic filling spills out in all its oozy, chewy glory. I can’t vouch for your pasta version but I’m sure if you serve this dessert to your family they will be begging you for it often.

Even though I didn’t make the linguine version this week I am still quite anxious to see and read the other Dorista’s stories of it this week. I’m sure there will be many who may have felt trepidation at this dish but then ventured forth anyway only to really love it. They are more courageous than I. I wonder if their substitutions affected their outcome as dramatically as mine? If it turns out this dish is the barn burner that you say it is I may rethink and try it out when the less adventurous family is not around. (I do loved browned butter in pasta…sigh.)

Will the Dorista’s family members be begging to have them make this again and again? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out!

Kind regards,
Sis. Boom.

Baked Apples "Mendiant" with Caramel Sauce Baked Apples "Mendiant" with Caramel Sauce
Baked Apples "Mendiant" with Caramel Sauce Baked Apples "Mendiant" with Caramel Sauce

Baked Apples “Mendiant” with Caramel Sauce

Baked Apples "Mendiant" with Caramel Sauce

Baked Apples "Mendiant" with Caramel Sauce(aka Beggar’s Baked Apples)

(aka “Beggar’s Baked Apples” as adapted from Beggar’s Linguine)

This is what you will need:

  • 4 medium apples. I used Braeburn.
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 8 dried mission figs, chopped
  • 1 teasp. brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • splash of lemon juice

This is how you make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and core the apples and score a ring around the ‘equator’ of each apple by cutting just through the skin with a sharp knife. This keeps the apple from bursting while baking and it will keep its shape while the insides get soft.
  2. Reserve 4 teaspoons of chopped pistachios then mix the almonds, raisins, figs and remainder of pistachios in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. You need very little sugar here because the caramel sauce is sweet. (If you skip the caramel sauce you might want to add a bit more sugar here.) Stuff the cores with the mixture and place on a baking sheet or 8×8 oven pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until insides are soft all the way through. Test with a very sharp knife. It should go in easily.
  3. In a saucepan put sugar and one tablespoon of water on highish heat and boil until golden brown. Do not stir just swirl pan. Get a good color but be careful not to over cook as it can burn fast. This takes about 5 minutes. When deep gold turn of the heat and add butter and stir as it gets incorporated. Stir some more. Add cream and stir as the sauce ‘calms down’. Add 1 T or more of lemon juice to taste. Set aside and keep warm. If you are not ready to serve this can be rewarmed before plating.
  4. To serve, pour a splash of sauce on the plate and set on an apple. Garnish with dollop of whipped cream sweetened with just a bit of sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Top with reserved pistachios.


Apples can be refrigerated for up to one day and gently reheated for serving. Mine was even better the next day.

You can see what this dish was supposed to be over at French Fridays with Dorie. I’m sure the other Doristas made it as it was supposed to be. Dorie posted the actual recipe on her blog as well.


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. Hi, Trevor!

    I love what you did with the recipe!

    I would like to give you a Stylish Blogger Award! Please visit my blog to pick it up:

    Thanks for inspiring me!

  2. I love your substitution. With trepidation, I tried it with the pasta. It was like dessert and dinner all in one, so your call to just turn it into dessert was spot on.

  3. Oooohhh. Likey like.
    It was a scary dish to make, but it did turn out well in the end…

  4. I think it’s brilliant that you only changed two things and ended with an entirely different course. The beginnings of a new internet cooking challenge perhaps? You are so “stylish!” xoxo (I actually linked to this post in mine, cuz it’s so cool.)

  5. I totally understand the substitution impulse – you know me and meat pies, or anything resembling a meat pie. Not. gonna. happen. I salute your creativity!

  6. I love that you completely went a different direction with this! I’m wondering if I would’ve reacted differently to this dish had I not known the ingredients were used on chocolates. I’m not sure. Great post!

  7. You’ve got my mouth watering for baked apples at 8:37 in the morning. So wrong it’s right. 🙂

  8. I love your creativity! Your baked apples look wonderful! I think I might just have to give them a try! I did enjoy the was quite delicious!

  9. I shared your concerns about this one but was very plesantly surprised! I am totally impressed with your creative twiston this one. Looks beautiful and delicious!

  10. How do you like them apples? Quite a lot, actually! These look fantastic.

  11. Love it!!! Hey, I think it counts when Beggar’s Linguine was your inspiration…I’d definitely dive into your dessert..yum. Being a bit skeptical myself, I only made a quarter batch…it was really quite delicious…you should give it a try~

  12. Wow, what an amazing twist! I’m sure that I’d love your version, your apples look so beautiful.

    Alas, I didn’t make changes… A pasta failure, not that easy to do! Yours is something I’d definitely make!

  13. Sweet! I love your twist on this week’s recipe – amazing! 🙂

  14. Wow! How lovely!

  15. Looks delicious even though you substituted out the main ingredient! Very inspired! My mother-in-law thought the ingredients would make a nice rice pilaf and I’m sure she is right.

  16. You did deviate from the original recipe quite a bit, but I love it. It sounds wonderful. I did love this recipe and I want to try your version too! Great post.

  17. Very clever!

  18. The linguine was great but I like your idea. Saves a lot of carbs 🙂 apples and caramel sauce: yum!!

  19. This looks truly wonderful, Trevor. I hope you make Dorie’s original recipe-at least give it a go. It made a believe out of me. Lovely photos.

  20. Dear Sis Boom,
    How dare you compete with me in creating delicious and creative recipes? I suppose you think you’re going to write your own book some day? Well if you do, please start an online cooking group so I can join.
    Love always,

  21. I don’t get it – apples for pasta? It’s like a no-carb, vegetarian dish or something. It’s no wonder she hasn’t responded yet – actually, she’s probably writing down the recipe and will appear in her next book. The nerve! Great post – next time do one on linguine.

  22. I love it! I’ve been a total FFD slacker recently, but I have been keeping up with the group vicariously through other participants. This as a pasta dish is probably something I wouldn’t have tried. I do love those toppings with your apple though. Thanks for the tip about making a cut through the “equator” of the apple- that’s a handy tidbit to know. 🙂

  23. I love your apple! I want to try it. Great idea and thanks for sharing. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do…I understand completely!

  24. Thanks for popping by my version – making the original for breakfast. I thought that was creative, but this is pretty brilliant. Arguably, not exactly the essence of the original recipe but then again it is. And that’s what I think Dorie or anyone who loves food will appreciate. Whether her recipe inspired you to cook it as is or inspired you to create something else, who really cares – it inspired you to cook and to me, that’s all that matters. I love baked apples and would definitely eat this version for dessert or perhaps even breakfast!

  25. Love the substitutions and they look marvelous! I’m so making this–thanks!

  26. There are few desserts that are as swarm and comforting as baked apples paired with nuts. I almost wished I lived somewhere where there is snow, but it passed in a second:)
    I still love your twist on this week’s recipe.
    I did not make the dish as I would have been the only courageous soul to even try it (I suspect I would have liked it:)

  27. Wonderful twist on this dish. I think I’d rather have this than the pasta. Actually, make that I know…

  28. Anonymous says:

    I was wandering the internet, hungry, virtually without currency, when I came upon this post. So generously did it feed my beggared appetite that, if I had hair, I would tug my forelock.

    As it is, I’ll have to offer some other tribute.


  29. I love your variation, but you totally owe it to yourself to make it with the pasta. The fresh herbs and orange zest at the end totally rock the dish. You could actually make the entire fruit nut butter thing, then save it and try with a portion of pasta. If you still insist on not liking it (I loved it) you could use the rest of the fruit nut butter thing with more apples. Or pears, or chocolate. C’est magnifique!

  30. Looks so good!! 🙂

  31. Classic Sis Boom post 🙂 And now it’s a “Two-fer” recipe 🙂

  32. Ah yes, it’s all coming back to me now…
    (It was good as linguine too…especially over buckwheat pasta.) You really should go back and try the pasta version.

  33. The skillet wielding
    Doristas have found their way
    Into this week’s blog.

    Apples and pancakes
    Can happily coexist
    In mediant fashion.

  34. Ooh, now your apples look delicious. I have a feeling I would have enjoyed these much more than mine. Why didn’t I add caramel?

  35. Love what you did with the Baked Apples:) You should consider writing your own cookbook.

  36. You have my absolution… I love figs this is dessert heaven to me.

  37. These look amazing…I do remember this post! The presentation is gorgeous!! Happy Weekend, Trevor!

  38. Unlike Kathy, I don’t remember the Beggar’s Post so I was mesmorized by your write-up this week. Pulled out my Dorie cookbook and figured it all out. Amazing. Looks wonderful and, as always, your photos are award winning. You turned simple baked apples into a gorgeous affair. Loved this Post.

  39. OK, NOW I GET IT………….

  40. Very entertaining Trevor! Hope you are having a nice weekend.

  41. Lovely- I had pistachios on hand and did not even consider using them. The lightbulb never even went off. Though if you read our blog you will see that it has evidently dimmed significantly in 2014 as I didn’t even think of correctly using CIDER and instead read it as cider vinegar. Yum- happily basting away. As I told Mardi, I not only felt like I failure but the fact that my vinegar didn’t even result in acrid fumes left me thinking I even failed in my failure (circle of abyss…..) Now, for the record, I do have a sweet tooth so that may have impacted my view of that Beggar’s Linguine but I really do suggest you give it a whirl sometime if you have not. It is hands down one of my favorite recipes of the book and my family adores it as well. My in laws requested the recipe so they could make it for guests who tell me they loved it (though guests sometimes are just being polite:).

    • Clever, but you’re still a cheater!
      (Now y’all have me curious — travelling back in time to check the linguine recipe…very interesting….Tricia, I will try it!)

  42. Very creative and lovely photos! 🙂

  43. Caramel sauce might have been the saving grace for these! Baked apples are just not my thing. But caramel- definitely! (And I am so curious about the linguine!)

  44. How about them apples? They look pretty darn good, even if you did sin and substitute. May I suggest a cocktail to wash away the sins?