Caramelized Fennel and Apple Gratin Recipe

Slowly-cooked fennel, apples, and shallots are baked in a cast-iron skillet and finished with a crispy, nutty topping. How ya like them apples?
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


1 cup|150 grams panko breadcrumbs
¾ cup|75 grams toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons|28 grams unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
2 lemons
½ cup|125 ml heavy cream
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
2 heads fennel (about 1.3 pounds|530 grams), thinly sliced (fronds reserved for garnish)
1 cup|250 ml vegetable broth
2 granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup|100 grams shredded white cheddar cheese


  1. Combine the panko, walnuts, butter, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Zest in the lemons and set aside.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the shallots and fennel and cook until they’re just starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, adding the broth a few tablespoons at a time until it’s all absorbed into the vegetables and the vegetables are caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add the apple and cook 5 minutes longer, or until soft. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle the heavy cream over the top. Sprinkle with the cheese, then the panko mixture. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with the fennel fronds and serve.

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