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Maple & Cranberry Baked Apples




 Baked Apples one of the comfort foods we like to enjoy in the Winter months.  Apples are plentiful and at their best. We don't mind having the oven on, and they are delicious and very easy to do.



I had recently gotten some fabulous Organic Dried Cranberries and Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks from Buy Wholefoods Online and I felt they would be perfect for using in this simple and easy dessert. If you are not familiar with Buy Whole Foods Online you really need to look them up. I buy all of my dried fruit from them every year for my Christmas Cakes, and other bits and bobs throughout the year. Buy Whole Foods Online is an international health food supplier, based in Minster, Ramsgate, North East Kent. They deliver top quality natural and organic wholefoods, and related healthy living products, directly to homes and businesses across the UK and Europe. I have always been very happy with both their products and their service.


Baked apples make for a lovely breakfast treat or a dessert for after your dinner. I think they are very homey and comforting. You can bake just about any apple, but today I chose to use Pink Ladies as that is what I had in the refrigerator.  You will need to core them.



I have an apple corer, but today I also wanted to keep the bottoms intact, so I just used it to punch a whole down into the apple almost through to the bottom and then I used a metal 1/4 tsp measure to scoop out the core and enough surrounding apple to give me a one inch cavity down most of the length of the apple.


You need plenty of room to hold a cinnamon stick and that buttery cranberry, oat and maple filling! There's a bit of freshly grated nutmeg in there as well. I like to buy my nutmegs whole.  They last forever and freshly grated nutmeg is far superior to the already grated stuff you can buy.  At Buy Wholefoods you can buy anywhere from 125g up to 1 kg.   (It would take you a long time to use the larger amount.)


I always cut a really shallow line into the apple all the way around it horizontally.  This helps to prevent the apple from bursting when it is baking.  You will see it when you first take the apple out of the oven, but once the apple settles it disappears pretty much.


 You could of  use ground cinnamon but I really like the way that a whole cinnamon stick uses in these.  You don't eat it of course, but it does impart a nice cinnamon flavour to the whole apple and when you are done you can use add it to a saucepan along with some orange peel, whole cloves, star anise and water to make a natural air freshener.  When we had the wood stove I always had a container filled with this simmering on the back of the stove all winter through.  It made the house smell gorgeous and put some moisture into the air at the same time.  Wood fires can be so drying.



Isn't that pretty!  You stuff around the cinnamon stick with the oat, maple and cranberry stuffing. It helps to hold the cinnamon stick in place and adds even more lovely flavours to the apples.


They bake in a small baking dish along with some boiling water and a bit of Maple Syrup.  This forms a bit of a sauce when all is said and done, which is lovely spooned over the finished apples.



Depending on the apples you use it will take anywhere from between 40 minutes to an hour for them to bake to a nice softness  . . . I like them to be just soft enough to easily push the tip of a sharp knife into them.


These were done just right in about 45 minutes.  Take them out after about 40 and check them. If you think they are still hard, cover them up and pop them back in for a little bit longer.  Nobody enjoys a hard baked apple.


I have given quantities today for only two, but you can of course double or triple the amounts if you want more.


These were just perfect with some double cream poured into the bowl with them, but custard or vanilla ice cream would also be nice. In all truth they are also very tasty just on their own.

Yield: 2
Author:

Maple & Cranberry Baked Apples

Maple & Cranberry Baked Apples

Natures comfort food. All natural and delightful served for breakfast or dessert. We like cream with them, but custard is also very nice, as is ice cream.

ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet eating apples (I used Pink Ladies)
  • 1 TBS finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 3 TBS maple syrup, divided
  • 4 TBS rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 120ml boiling water (1/2 cup)

instructions:

How to cook Maple & Cranberry Baked Apples

  1. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 4.  Have ready a small baking dish.
  2. Wash and dry your apples. Using a sharp measuring spoon, or apple corer, remove the cores from the centre of the apples, leaving the base intact.  I push down with the corer to where I want it to go and then use the measuring spoon to remove the apple. You will want about a 1 inch wide cavity for filling. Lightly score horizontally around the centre of each apple.  This helps to keep them intact so that they don't burst open when baking.
  3. Mix together the dried cranberries, oats, 1/2 of the butter, 1 TBS of the maple syrup and the nutmeg.  Put a cinnamon stick in the centre of each apple and fill around the sides with the oatmeal mixture.  Put them into the baking dish. Dot the tops with the remaining butter.  Whisk together the remaining maple syrup and the boiling water. Pour around the apples in the dish. Cover tightly with aluminium foil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes until the apples are cooked through and tender.  Remove from the oven and spoon any juices in the dish over top.  Serve warm.

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I bet I probably bake apples at least once a week in the Winter months. Todd just loves them and as far as dessert goes, they are not all that unhealthy.  Low in sugar and fat, and high in fibre too! 



I got a few other things from Buy Whole Foods.  Organic Barley Flour, (which I am going to make some bread with),Pickling Spice (I am thinking pickled carrots here or red onions.  It is also great with red cabbage), Turmeric Powder (Fabulous to give you brilliant colour in a curry and  also has a great many other health benefits) and Brewers Yeast, which is another great nutritional supplement.  Try it mixed into your hot drinks or smoothies.  It is a great source of chromium which can help control your blood sugar levels. You can also add it to baked goods. 

I really would like to recommend you checking out Buy Wholefoods Online!  They are a wonderful and affordable source for nuts, seeds, fruits, health supplements, herbs, spices, personal care and alternative therapies, speciality foods, Japanese foods, dried vegetables, coconut and a whole lot more!  Their prices are very reasonable and their delivery service impeccable. They have been my go-to for a lot of things over these last few years because I can trust them, and I think you will too! 





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Marie Rayner
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1 comment:

  1. What a great fall or winter dessert. Thanks for this, Marie!

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