Along with our increased emphasis on veggie main dishes this new year, I've started to emphasize more fruit desserts. I confess that when I set out to fix dessert I automatically lean towards the magic of rising flour - there is something in the transformational chemistry of baking that draws me, enchants me. Fruit desserts are much more subtle - they don't puff up, change shape or color dramatically, or stubbornly refuse to rise if you forget the baking powder.
But I am leaning towards subtlety, lately. And fruit desserts are the perfect conclusion to a complete, healthful meal - a nutritious, light, cleansing way to end the meal on a slightly sweet note (that happens to come with plentiful vitamin C and antioxidents).
Hence, on Tuesday evening, I continued the food nostalgia series with one of my childhood favorite desserts - baked apples! These, of course, are southern baked apples, filled with pecans and cinnamon...
Maple Pecan Baked Apples
4 large apples, cored (I prefer a slightly tart apple for this recipe, such as jonagold or granny smith) 4 T raw sugar or date sugar 4 T maple syrup 2 T melted butter or light vegan marg. 1 tsp cinnamon 6 T chopped pecans
~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. ~ Whisk together the sugar, maple syrup, butter/marg, and cinnamon until well combined. ~ Stir in the pecans until the pecans are coated with a smooth glaze. ~ Place the apples in a baking dish. Fill the apple cores with the pecan mixture. If there is any extra pecan mixture, let it dribble on top and down the sides of the apples. ~ Bake for 40 minutes - until the apples are tender. Serve immediately, topped with whipped cream or a little vegan yogurt...
("I want to go to the gym and have baked apples for dessert too!")