Often times I take a look around these parts and realize I must have a secret agenda to put skinny jeans out of style, one recipe at a time. Strawberry cheesecake chimichangas? Check. Homemade Samoas Girl Scout cookies? Check. Homemade churros with chocolate sauce? Check. But today we may officially retire denim in favor of jeggings. Because today, my fellow calorie crushers, we feast on Apple Pie Panini.
I cannot take credit for this gastronomical greatness. This dessert creation was dreamt up by my friend, fellow San Diegan and cookbook author, Kathy Strahs, of Panini Happy. Kathy’s new book, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook, hit shelves last week and boy does it ever catapult everyday pressed sandwiches into extraordinary panini.
This book’s got it all, from Chicken Parm Panini and Pimento Panini to BBQ Rib Melt Panini and Monte Cristo Panini. While the savory sandwiches were enough to inspire me to crank up my panini press, it was the dessert section that had me sprinting to the supermarket.
This Apple Pie Panini stars honey-whipped mascarpone, juicy green apple slices and brown sugar-crusted raisin bread. Think of it like French toast meets apple pie. I took it one step further and topped it all off with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. After all, this is a dessert panini. (And definitely not for your bikini.)
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Apple Pie Panini
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 min
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons honey
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
8 slices cinnamon raisin bread, sliced from a dense a bakery loaf
1 Granny Smith or other firm apple, cored and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
Vanilla bean ice cream (optional)
Equipment: panini press
Either in a small bowl with a whisk or in a mini food processor, whip the mascarpone and honey together until it’s well combined and fluffy.
Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
For each sandwich: Spread butter on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over both slices of bread and spread 1 tablespoon sweetened mascarpone on each. Top one slice of bread with a layer of apples and close the sandwich with the other slice, buttered side up. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top.
Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the fillings are warmed and the bread is toasted, with a sweet crust, 3 to 5 minutes. Top each sandwich with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream (optional) and serve.
Recipe from The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook. Reprinted with permission from Kathy Strahs.