Sometimes you get in a rut and just need a little something fun for dessert! Baked apples are fun all by themselves, but I love this twist on an old favorite. These stuffed baked apples are pre-sliced, tied with kitchen twine, then stuffed with a sweet (but not too sweet) mixture of raw organic butter, organic oats and dried fruit with a touch of maple syrup. When you serve them, it’s a little like an inside-out apple crisp! My kids love to help me slice, tie and stuff the apples and they love to eat them even more. A dollop of honey-sweetened whipped cream is the perfect way to complete this healthy dessert!
Start with fresh, tangy organic apples. Fuji, Gala, and Honeycrisp apples are some of my favorites to bake. Look for apples that are short and round (they’ll work better for this recipe than tall apples), firm, and free of bruises or bad spots. Some apples stand up better to baking than others; for example Red Delicious apples tend to get mealy and mushy when baked. If you’re interested in learning more about different types of apples for baking, here’s a primer I found that goes over the taste, texture and seasonal availability of 13 different types.
Slice and core your apples and then piece them back together. This is a little tricky (and if it sounds like too much work, you can skip this step and just core the apple). I used an apple slicer, left the apple in the slicer and tied a piece of kitchen twine around it to hold it together. Then I carefully removed the core and pulled the apple off the slicer.
Once you’ve got your apples ready, mix up the stuffing. The recipe below is for one apple, so you can adjust it for the exact number of apples you’ll need for your dessert. Organic dried apricots, cranberries, raisins, oatmeal, raw organic butter and organic oats mixed with a little organic grade B maple syrup…sweet, but not too sweet! Chopped walnuts or pecans would also be great in this recipe (we just can’t do them out our house because of an allergy). You can get creative with this too…dates, shredded coconut, blueberries…anything goes!
Pop the apples in the oven and bake them, top with some fresh whipped cream sweetened with honey, and serve! when you take off the string, the apples fall apart and are easy to eat with a fork, like an apple crisp. A fun and healthy dessert!
Stuffed Baked Apples
For each apple:
1 fresh, organic apple (Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp work well)
1/2 tablespoon raw, organic butter
1 tablespoon organic raisins
1 tablespoon organic dried apricots
1 tablespoon organic dried cranberries
1 tablespoon organic rolled oats
1 tablespoon organic grade B maple syrup
optional: Experiment with chopped nuts, shredded coconut, flax seed, dried blueberries or chopped dates.
1/4 cup raw whipping cream
1 tablespoon raw, organic honey
(this makes enough topping to very generously top one apple, doubling it will top 4)
1. Wash, core and slice your apples. You can use an apple slicer/corer, leave the apple in the corer and tie it back together with kitchen twine. Carefully wiggle the core out of the apple and remove the apple from the corer. Place it in a glass baking dish (if you’re doing more than one, pack them in together so that they hold each other up). Or, you can just core the apples.
2. In a bowl, mix the butter, dried fruit, maple syrup, and oats.
3. Stuff the apples with the fruit and oat mixture, there may be extra that can be piled on top of the apple or baked in the dish next to the apples.
4. Bake the apples at 325 degrees for 40 minutes (or until they are soft).
5. Whip the cream until it becomes thick and frothy. Drizzle the honey into the cream as it’s being whipped, right before serving.
6. Serve the apples with a dollop of whipped cream. Remove the string and let the apples fall, then eat like an apple crisp.
What’s your favorite apple for baking?