Apple season is here in full force and there is no shortage of apple varieties. The best baking apples balance both tartness and sweetness, and hold their shape during cooking. Granny Smith apples are a favorite among bakers, but Honeycrisp, Pink Lady and Cortland apples are a great choices too.
Although I love many apple based desserts, I wanted a lighter apple treat that was still satisfying. There are many ingredients you can use to stuff your baked apple. I decided to forgo the sugar, butter and oats, and use chopped nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut and maple syrup. Give it a try!
- 4 apples
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons dried fruit such as cherries, cranberries or figs
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans and slivered almonds)
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 2-3 tablespoons good quality maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
- 1/2 cup water
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the core (but not the skin) of the apples by scooping it out, without cutting through the bottom. A mellon baller or apple corer is the best tool to use.
Mix the coconut, dried fruit, chopped nuts, oatmeal (if using), cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest in a bowl. Divide the mixture between the 4 apples, packing it tightly into the cavity. Drizzle the maple syrup over the apples.
Arrange the apples in a baking dish and top each with a pat of butter, if using. Pour the water into the bottom of the dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. When the apples are done, the skin will appear wrinkly and soft. You should be able to slide a knife into the apples easily. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup. Serves 4.