Hasselback apples

Most backyard cooks will be familiar with the hasselback potato. Slit a potato from one side every few millimetres, smear with a butter spice mixture and then put on the barbecue. That’s an excellent side dish next to a good piece of meat.

How nice to end that same barbecue party with an apple hasselback for dessert. It’s a creative dessert with the sweetness of a sugar-butter mixture, the crispiness of shortcrust pastry and the freshness of mascarpone cream. You can expend this sweet dessert with some vanilla ice cream.

The ingredient list of the Apple hasselback is relatively short so you can manage with a few apples lying in the fruit bowl. We recommend Pink lady apples because of the excellent bite and ideal sweet-sour balance. After peeling the apple, it is preferable to remove the core carefully so that the apple remains firm enough even after cutting the notches. I remove the core with a melon ball spoon.

Slicing the apple every few millimetres requires some precision. With a hasselback potato, you can use wooden ladles as a spacer to prevent you from cutting the notches too far. With the apple hasselback, you will have to do this more by sight and feeling.

The butter-sugar mixture warmed in the skillet is scooped onto each apple and will run between the notches during cooking. Depending on the apple variety, the apple will be cooked enough after about 20 minutes to provide it with the shortcrust pastry.

To do this, first place them in a lightly greased roasting pan. Baking paper is, of course, also an option. Then you put it all back on the barbecue at an indirect temperature of about 200ºC (392F). The apple will continue to cook, and the shortcrust pastry will turn nicely crispy and golden brown.

A cream of mascarpone, crème fraiche and sugar is a good tip for the layout of the plates and a delicious flavour combination. Use the butter-sugar mixture and crushed gingerbread for even more flavour and to make your dessert more beautiful.

This is our hasselback apple. If you will make them too, let us know in a comment below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what it looks like.


  • 2 sweet but firm apples. like pink lady
  • 40 grams of light brown caster sugar
  • 45 grams of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 25 grams of unsalted butter
  • 25 grams of powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 50 grams of flour
  • 1 gingerbread cookie

For the toppings

  • 125 grams of crème frache
  • 125 grams mascarpone
  • 4 gingerbread cookies


  1. Peel the apples and cut them in half. Remove the core with a melon ball spoon. Then carefully cut slits into the apple about 1/2 inch from where the core was. Place the four apple halves in a small baking dish.
  2. Fire up your barbecue at an indirect temperature of 200ºC (392F). While heating the barbecue, place a small cast iron pan directly above the glowing coals to heat up.
  3. Melt the butter in the cast iron pan and add the sugar. Stir it and let it simmer briefly. Remove the pan from the grates and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  4. Divide the sugar-butter mixture over the cut four apples and cover the baking dish with aluminium foil. The covered oven dish with apples is heated indirectly at 200ºC (392F) for about 20 minutes.
  5. Mix the 25 grams of butter, 25 grams of icing sugar, 50 grams of flour, a pinch of salt and one finely grated gingerbread cookie. Mix the butter with your hands to make a nice crumble dough.
  6. After about 20 minutes, the covered apples can be removed. Carefully place the apples in a lightly greased baking dish. Save the sugar-butter mixture from the baking dish for later use on the plates. Spoon some of the shortcrust pastry on each apple. Then place the apples back on the barbecue for about 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, mix the crème fraiche and mascarpone 50/50 to a firm cream and season with powdered sugar. Grate the remaining four gingerbread cookies in a bowl.
  8. After the shortcrust-covered apples have been baked on the barbecue for about 20 minutes, the dough will be golden brown. This is the time to take them off.
  9. Decorate the plate with some creativity: apply the cream, grated gingerbread, the apple hasselback, a little extra cinnamon and some sugar-butter mixture. Of course, a scoop of vanilla ice cream also goes well.

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