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 great choices too. There are many ingredients you can use to stuff your baked apples. I decided to forgo the sugar, butter and oats, and use chopped nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, maple syrup, fresh orange zest and an added pinch of coconut oil in each apple before baking. Your kitchen will smell wonderful!
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice off just the top part of each apple. Scoop out the core and seeds using a melon baller or apple corer, without piercing through the bottom.
Mix the coconut, dried cherries, pecans, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest and maple syrup, in a bowl. Divide the mixture between the 4 apples, packing it tightly into the cavity.
Arrange the apples in a baking dish and top each with a pat of coconut oil. Squeeze a little fresh orange juice over each apple. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 25- 30 minutes or until the skin starts to soften and wrinkle. You should be able to slide a knife into the apples easily. Remove the apples from the oven and let them cool a few minutes. Serve warm.