Would you believe I had never eaten a baked apple until a few weeks ago? Well perhaps you would – after all we don’t know each other that well yet. Hopefully that will change in due course! Anyway, I was shocked to realise that I hadn’t. Come peak apple season our kitchen is brimming with apples waiting to be incorporated into scrumptious dishes. Apple crumble is a don’t-mess-with-me tradition in our family and I cannot remember a year that we haven’t made at least half a dozen batches of stewed apples. The look of pure horror on a friend’s face when she discovered me stewing apples a number of years ago was priceless. Apparently normal fifteen year olds don’t do that sort of thing, or at least not for kicks.
As you can see apples and I have become well acquainted over the years, but never in the baked form. The time to try this classic dessert was well overdue. Did they live up to expectations? Yes indeed. I didn’t actually look at any recipes instead opting to free-reign it, a decision that could well have ended in disaster. Fortunately the risk paid off instead, resulting in sweet, spicy, melt-in-your-mouth appley goodness. Merely squish a moist fruity-crumble mixture brimming with aromatics into the centre of the apple…simple baking at it’s best.
Don’t fret if you are missing some (or a number) of the ingredients – mix and match as necessary. Who knows, you may come up with an even better combination!
3 Granny Smith (or other cooking) apples
1 tbsp quinoa flakes
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tsp low-fat margarine
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp rice syrup (or another tsp of maple)
Small pinch nutmeg
1 tbsp sultanas
2 dates, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Wash apples and use an apple corer to remove the centre (turns out I had been using it wrong for years, no wonder I always became so frustrated!)
Run the point of a sharp knife in a horizontal line around the middle of the apple, so that you have an ‘equator’. This allows the apple to collapse in on itself a bit.
Using your fingertips, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Press into the space where the core of the apple used to be, using your forefinger to pack it in tightly.
Place the apples in a baking dish, preferably so that the sides of the apples are just touching each other. Fill the dish with water until it comes 1/3 of the way up the side.
Bake for approximately half an hour, or until the apples are bubbling, slightly browned on top and appear to have ‘collapsed’ a little.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five or ten minutes before serving.
Source: A Taste Without Waste original.