Do you have a yen for apple pie, but no time to prepare one? Take the time honored short cut and bake whole apples in your oven. These take only about 30 minutes to bake, (a little longer if you like them softer than we do), so they can be ready to eat shortly after you have eaten dinner and cleared away the dirty plates. Be careful, though, they come out of the oven hot!
Baked Apple Recipe
tart, firm and ripe apples such as Granny Smith, one for each person
grouond nutmeg (optional)
*brown sugar (add brown sugar only if a NON-sugar free version is desired)
DIRECTIONS: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using a sharp paring knife or (preferably) a coring tool, cut from the stem end down into the apple and remove the center core, and discard. Try to remove all the seeds and pith. Do not peel.
Place the apples in a baking dish that has a lip or sides. If the apple does not stand up, slice the bottom off enough to make a flat surface to sit on. (I didn't have to do this on the apples I used).
In a separate small bowl, toss a handful of raisins generously sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg if desired. Add a tablespoon or so of brown sugar only if a NON sugar free version is desired. Mix thoroughly. Then spoon the spiced raisins into the core cavity of each apple.
VARIATION: Recently at Whole Foods, I purchased a small jar of "Cinnamon Raisin Fool", which contains golden raisins, currants, cinnamon, vanilla and annatto. No sugar--this delicious conconction relies on the natural sweetness of the softened fruits. I spooned some of this into the apples instead of spicing my own raisins, and it was very tasty indeed.
Bake the apples in the oven for about half an hour. To check whether or not it is done, carefully pierce an apple with your fork. If the apple yields easily to the fork, it is done. Remove from oven and let the apples sit a few minutes. If you are impatient, slice into the apples so they will cool a little faster.
The fragrance is lovely, and this makes a simple but elegant dessert any night of the week.