Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baked Apples

Apple pie is the quintessential fall dessert.  Growing up we would have apple pie with Thanksgiving dinner and we would all eat it for breakfast the following day...(that's normal, right?).  Fruit baked with sweet spices until soft and the juices ooze joy.  I always was the culprit who ate the filling out of the apple pie, so making baked apples seemed like a happy compromise...

2 apples of your choice (I used some from a local organic farm sans wax)
3 medjool dates
2 tablespoons raw, unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons creamed coconut (see bottom)*
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, plus a few extra for topping
1 scant tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Few shakes of nutmeg and ginger
Pinch of salt
coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the core of the apples with an apple corer.  I used mine to remove a little extra from the core of the apple to make room for more filling.  I pretty much doubled the amount of space.  If you feel the need, peel a strip from the apples at this point (I read this was so the apples don't burst in the oven, but I did one with/one without and they both broke a little at the bottom, choose).

Chop the dates into small pieces and place in a small mixing bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mash together with a fork until mixed well.  Then fill the apples with the mixture, packing it in well.  Coat the bottom of a small baking pan or pie plate with a little coconut oil, and place the filled apples inside.  Top the filled portion with a few more chopped pecans.

Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, cover the apples with aluminum foil and continue baking another 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.  This recipe can be easily doubled.

**Creamed coconut is basically just the flesh of the coconut.  I found it in a health food store and it comes in small packages like this:

If you can't find it near you, just use equal amounts of unsweetened coconut flakes, though you may need to add a bit more dates or honey to give the mixture just a little more moisture.

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