Use an apple to make a bowl for dips, pudding and fruit desserts, or even as a decorative candle-holder for parties. Studded with cloves placed in a designed pattern, these bowls are aromatic as well as pleasing to the eye. You can make the design as simple as a diamond grid or as intricate as a picture.
For each apple bowl, you will need:
1 apple, your choice of variety or color (see Tips and Hints)
1/4 cup (about) whole cloves
12 (about) fresh cranberries
6 (about) round toothpicks, broken in half
Slice off the top of the apple. Use a melon-baller to carve the flesh from the inside leaving 1/2-inch of flesh all the way around the inside of the skin. Brush all exposed flesh with lemon juice to retard browning.
Use a toothpick to poke a design on the exterior of the apple. Take care not to penetrate completely through to the inside of the apple. The holes should be spaced far enough apart to accomodate the buds of the cloves. Place the stem ends of the whole cloves into each hole of the design.
Push the sharp end of the half-toothpick about half way into the stem end of the cranberry. Reverse the toothpick so that the broken thick end goes into the hole you just made. Press the sharp end with the cranberry into the top rim of the apple. Continue until you have a ring of cranberries around the top.
Use apple bowl as a container for dips, personal serving bowl for pudding and mixed fruit desserts, or as a candle-holder decoration.
Tips and Hints:
Be sure to use round toothpicks, not the flat ones. The flat toothpicks are not sturdy enough.
Select apples that have a flat bottom to stand up straight.
The more you slice off the top of the apple, the shallower the bowl.
You may substitute cloves or firm grapes for cranberries to stud the upper edge of the bowl if you wish.
Cut the cranberries in half to make a more rounded top for the bowl.
The apple bowls may be lined with plastic wrap if need be.
May be made up to 3 days in advance.
Refrigerate apple bowls when not in use.