Savory dishes may seem like unlikely fillings for hollowed apples, but salads, soups, and meaty side dishes can all be served in an apple bowl. For a recent Sunday brunch, I filled apples with brown rice and soy-seasoned black beans. People grabbed them from the buffet and then refilled as they pleased. Almost any recipe with fruit, especially apples, seems to work in these apple bowls. Peanuts and apples are always a good flavor combination, so Thai pineapple fried rice is perfect for the apple cups.
Recommended salads, soups, and sides:
Growing up, our neighborhood Italian eatery used to serve their gelato in fresh fruits like peaches and lemons. We kids usually only had enough money for ices, but sometimes we'd save enough for one of the fruit cups, and it was a treat that I won't ever forget.
This is still one of my favorite ways to enjoy and serve sorbet and gelato. You can fill the hollowed-out apple with sorbet, ice cream or other dessert beforehand and store it in your fridge or freezer, so serving is easier than pie.
If you don't have many apples or you'd rather use the apple as a small serving bowl, then it is equally useful and attractive on a buffet, side table, bar, or dinner table. Use your apple bowl as a holder for dipping sauces, snacks, taller foods like breadsticks, or pickles and condiments.
Condiments, Spreads, and Dressings
If you are familiar with Korean cuisine, then you're used to the hollowed apple as a drinking glass. Curved to fit the palm of your hand, the apple is the perfect shape and size to serve a huge variety of of beverages. You can chill the apples in the freezer for a few hours beforehand if you are serving cold drinks.
Alcoholic drinks to try:
In addition to being endlessly useful for food and drink, hollowed apples also make picturesque decorating vessels. Grouped in multiples and used as candle holders or bud vases, they make striking holiday centerpieces or table decorations. Use similar shades of red, green, or yellow or a combination of all for a rainbow effect.