8 small apples (or as many as you can fill with the filling)
3/4 cup sausage meat
1/4 cup finely chopped celery with leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped apple
1/2 tsp sage
salt and pepper to taste
Lightly brown the sausage meat, onions and celery in a skillet on medium heat. I have some sweet basil sausage meat which smells wonderful while browning, but you could use any flavour that suits your fancy. Actually a cheddar sausage might work really well with the apples.
While that browns, start prepping the apples. Cut the tops off the apples and let them soak in some salt water. Use a knife to cut out the core then use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to remove more apple leaving about an 1/8" thickness.
Chop the scooped-out apple flesh to make 1 1/4 cups and mix that into the warm sausage mixture. Season with sage, salt and pepper.
Fill the apples with the meat mixture and cap them off with the reserved apple tops. Stand in a baking dish and bake at 350 F for 35-45 minutes, basting with melted butter or pan juices until apples are tender.
Served here with Cranberry Herbed Rice.