The inspiration for this dessert comes from my mother. Every evening she would have her white cheddar cheese with her sliced apples while watching television with my dad. My parents are no longer with us but when I make this... they don't feel so far away. It is a little bit of my youth coming back for a moment in time. My whole family loves this recipe and it is because of the flavor combination... everything just works!
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
Sweet, savory, tart, this unique dessert is delicious! The unusual flavors go so well together. I bet you could use this maple syrup sauce on other desserts too. This is one dessert everyone will be talking about.
MAPLE SYRUP SAUCE: In a saucepan, combine maple syrup, cream, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium - high heat for about 20 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half. Set aside and allow to cool.
CARAMELIZED APPLES: Preheat broiler. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, lemon zest, and cheese.
In skillet, melt butter and cook apples, cranberries and bacon bits over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until golden and cranberries are soft.
Transfer apple cranberry mixture to an oven safe dish. Cover with cheese mixture and broil 3-4 minutes, or until golden. Serve with maple syrup sauce.
*** Tip I like to serve this dessert in martini glasses or margarita glasses for a nice presentation.