Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Baked Apples

Baked Apples
Adapted from Something Sweet by Jack Bishop

Unfortunately, Something Sweet is out of print. It is tiny book filled with lots of good recipes. If you can find a copy, get it.  In fact, snag two copies so you can give one to your best friend.

I like these baked apples after a hearty meal, such as beef stew, on a cold winter's night when what I want most is warm, delicious comfort food.

Baked Apples
Adapted from Something Sweet by Jack Bishop

Serves 4

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup granulated sugar (I use organic)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup raisins
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 large apples (about 2 pounds)  Use your favorite apple for baking.  mine are Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Jonagold, or the ever-reliable, easily-available Granny Smith.
½ cup apple juice or cider
Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream, optional, but especially good

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter first.

Grind the walnuts, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until the nuts are rather fine but not reduced to a powder.  You want them to retain some texture.  Set the mixture aside in a small bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the raisins and brown sugar.

Core the apples. With a vegetable peeler, remove only the top half of the peel from each apple.

Fill the hollow center of each apple with some of the raisin-brown sugar mixture. 

Brush the peeled halves of the apples with melted butter, reserving some of the butter to use later.

Roll the peeled part of the apples in the nut-granulated-sugar mixture until the bare sections of the apples are well coated with the mixture.

Place the apples in a small baking dish.  Drizzle them with the remaining butter, then pour the apple juice or cider into the bottom of the pan.

Bake until the nut crust on the apples turns golden brown and the centers can be easily pierced with a small knife.  This will take about 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve the apples warm, topped with the juice from the pan and, if you like, heavy cream (not whipped) or vanilla ice cream.

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