It must be fall because the new apple crop is in! Apples are winners when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease, says a new study of more than 34,000 women. The findings, published in the March, 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, noted apples are a rich source of flavonoids and fiber (richest in the skin). Unfortunately, in conventionally-grown apples, the skin is also the part most likely to contain pesticide residues and/or be covered in petroleum-based waxes. Which means, of course, that eating organic apples is the way to go since we want that extra nutrition and fiber found in the peel, don’t we?!? There are myriad other reasons to eat apples so we are healthy and wise too.
|6 crisp apples*, halved lengthwise thru the stem end||½ c raisins, currants, or dried cherries|
|1 c crumbled macaroons, or desiccated coconut||1 c Butternut Mtn. Farms maple syrup|
|1 tb cinnamon||2 tb unsalted butter cut into pieces, optional|
Take each apple half, and using a paring knife, core, leaving a hole an inch-and-a-half in diameter. Do not peel apples. Why? See above. Note how rustic and gourmet the unpeeled fruit looks. Traditionally, to make baked apples, one stands the apple with the stem end up and takes out the core from the top. Halving and coring is so much easier! If you choose to take out the core from the top, be careful not to go all the way to the bottom or your filling will run out during baking.
Arrange ten apple halves, cut side up, in ceramic shallow baking pan or round skillet. You want each half to have its own snug place. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mince remaining two halves of apple and combine in a little bowl with crumbed macaroons, cinnamon, maple syrup and lemon. Mix well, and mound filling in cavities. Spoon remaining filling over fruit. Don’t worry if it spills into pan. Will be delicious. Bake until apples are tender (about an hour) and then serve warm or at room temp with whipped cream, ice cream, if you like, or the new, dairy-free whipped “cream” called Soyatoo. Nice with oatmeal for breakfast!
*What kind of apples to use? You can use any crisp apple. My favorites are Pink Ladies, Granny Smiths and Braeburns.