If you're following a restricted diet, like me, you may not be able to indulge in some of the occasion's sweet treats, like pumpkin pie with whipped cream. But, you won't care once you have a taste of these delicious baked apples. They make for a very satisfying dessert, perfect for anyone on a restricted diet. See "Cook's Notes" for my suggestions and substitutions.
This recipe is adapted from the one at http://macrobiotic.about.com/od/desserts/r/SpicedApples.htm. I have provided the original recipe along with notes about substitutions I have made.
Number of Servings: 4
Total Preparation Time: 1 hour
Actual Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Meal Type: Dessert
Special Features: Kids Love It, Kids can help make it, Vegetarian
4 Large firm, tart apples such as Crispin, Winesap, Granny Smith or Jonagold
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1/4 cup Maple syrup or agave nectar
1/4 cup Golden raisins
1/4 cup Finely chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts
1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 cup Apple cider (or 1/2 cup water if not available)
- Preheat oven to 350°C.
- Core apples, or cut in half and remove core
- Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Place apples in glass or other non-reactive baking dish.
- Mix maple syrup or agave, raisins, nuts and spices.
- Fill apples, or top apple halves, with mixture.
- Pour apple cider into bottom of dish and cover with a lid or foil.
- Bake 25 minutes.
- Remove foil, baste apples with pan juices and bake, uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until apples are tender but not mushy.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you are not allowed to have any sweetener, this can still be a very tasty dessert. Just leave out the maple syrup or agave nectar. If you are allowed to have some other sweetener, such as local or raw honey or stevia, use it.
Many varieties of apple work in this recipe. Just adjust the baking time to suit your taste. I have enjoyed both Orin and Honey Crisp varieties.
If you can't have dried fruit, you can use fresh cut up grapes instead of raisins.
Almost any nut will do, so substitute to taste or for variety. I have enjoyed both almonds and hazelnuts, raw and roasted, in this recipe.
Apple juice works just as well as apple cider, but I typically just use water.
I like a little more cinnamon in mine. You can also poke each apple with a cinnamon stick for extra cinnamon flavour and aroma.
Note that due to the altitude where I live, and/or possibly my old clunker of a stove, I need to cook these at 375°C for 35 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Once you've made them as per the recipe, play around with temperature and time to get the result you want. Personally, I want the apples to be slightly crisp, but also want to be able to cut through the skin (I don't skin the apples, because there is so much goodness in the skin and I figure it holds the juice in them.)
I have been eating so many of these that I invested in a good quality apple corer, one that has a lever to release the core - highly recommended. I also recommend buying a set of four grapefruit spoons. These make cutting through the apple skins easier. Enjoy!