Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summery Baked Apples

This is an apple dish and the blog is aptly titled "apple cheeks" but by no means this blog is just about everything apples. Rather this blog hopes to celebrate food - beautiful flavors, simple home cooking, the health and comfort it brings to the hungry and the elegance it brings out from the maker. I hope through this, I can share with everyone one of my passions in life... food.

It's summer and the market is brimming with apples. This recipe I made combines fresh with musky. Imagine, the scent of apples and oranges embracing the warmth of earthy grains, nuts, spices and wine. Summer may be almost gone but this will instantly transport you to a sunset picnic in the open country.

Prepare the poison

In a pot, toss in a few cinnamon barks, star anise, a couple of orange slices and combine with a generous serving of red wine (left-over wine that's been sitting in your ref some time is the best option), some water, the juice of an orange and it's zest.

Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5 mins.

Transfer to a baking dish.

In the meantime, the apples and the filling....

Take the core out from the top of each apple with a small knife (core only 3/4 through). I used one Gala and one Washington apple.

Prepare the trail mix. Combine oats, nuts (I used almond, cashew and unsalted peanuts), dried fruit (like raisins, dates, apricots and others), a few chocolate chips and brown sugar and stuff it in the cored apples.

 Place the apples on the baking dish and add a small pat of butter on top of each.

Pop into the oven 200 degrees C for 30 min. or until the apple is tender inside (you can poke it with a barbecue stick to test for doneness. The skin of the apple will wrinkle when you take it out of the oven so don't panic - your apples are NOT ruined.

Need I say that it is best served with vanilla ice cream!

Save the liquid! Store it in a jar and refrigerate. We'll use it next time to poach pears.

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