Preheat oven to 350 degrees
4 large or 6 small, firm, tart apples
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (maple syrup or honey may also be used)
¼ cup chopped nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds)
¼ cup raisins (or substitute crystallized ginger or another type of dried fruit)
Grated zest of ½ lemon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3-cup apple juice or cider
Core the top of each apple, stopping ½ inch from the bottom. Set the apples in a shallow 1-1 1/2–quart baking dish, with enough room to fit but not touch.
Combine the dry ingredients and spoon the mixture into the center of each apple. Dot the top of the apples with butter.
Pour the liquid into the bottom of the pan and cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake the apples for 30 minutes. Uncover and baste with the liquid at the bottom of the pan, and bake until they are tender but not mushy, about 10 more minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream or for the dairy-free coconut milk.
Note: The amount of time you cook the apples will depend on the type and size of the apple and how soft you like them. I prefer them to still have a “bite” so I cooked them for the amount of time stated above. You might enjoy them a little less firm and want to cook them for longer.
It’s important to choose a variety of apple that is firm and tart. Suggestions include Rome Beauty, McIntosh, Jonagold, or Granny Smith. As always, we encourage you to shop locally and apples are in abundance at the farmer’s markets this time of year!