Choose your apples, you need apples which will hold their shape when baking and not turn into a mushy pile. I used Honey Crisp apples which had sat on my counter and were beginning to turn a bit wrinkly, wrinkly enough that no one wanted to eat them as they were. In that condition they weren’t spoiled but in fact perfect to turn into some baked apples for dessert. If you have dinner baking in the oven you are already a step ahead. When your dinner is out of the oven, put the apples in, eat dinner, and the apples will be ready to serve!
Winter makes me think of dried fruit and nuts, spices, and oranges. I chose to add dried figs and pine nuts. You can use any combination of fruit and/or nuts you want like raisins, dried cherries, currants, apricots, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews. The dried fruits and nuts add texture and flavour and give complexity to the apple. Feel free to experiment with different spice additions as well. If you don’t like cinnamon add mixed spice, chai spice, clove, nutmeg; but a word of caution some spices are more intense than others so you may need to add less.
with Dried Figs & Pine Nuts*
Makes 2 large or 3 small apples
Recipe may be doubled or tripled
2 large or 3 small apples
2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp cane sugar or brown sugar
4 tbsp quick cooking oats or rolled oats
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp dried figs, chopped
3 pinches cinnamon
1 cap full of Drambuie / Brandy or maple syrup or orange juice or apple juice
zest of a quarter of a lemon or orange
Remove the cores of your apples. I didn’t have an apple corer so I used a paring knife and cut a square section on the stem end and the opposite end and pushed the core out. Make sure you have a cavity large enough for stuffing and that no bits of core are left. With a knife score a shallow cut along the circumference of the apple. This will ensure the apples don’t split.
Mix all the other ingredients together. Stuff the apples and place in a small baking dish so that the apples don’t fall over. If all you have is a large dish than try wedging the apples with some aluminum foil.
Bake in a preheated 350 – 375 F oven for 25 to 35 minutes until they look done and are cooked all the way through. Serve on their own or with custard sauce or yoghurt.