Happy Autumn, everyone!
As the weather grows cooler and the leaves become crunchy underfoot, I cannot help but get a tremendous craving for all things apple: apple pie, apple cider (hard and regular, please), apple crumbles, apple cake, apple soup, applesauce, apple muffins, apple dumplings, fresh apple juice… Ah, I love them so. From brilliant green to deep scarlet to pale speckled yellow, apples fill the stands at farmers’ markets and mounds of them cascade down the grocery store’s endcaps. It’s truly hard to avoid them during the Autumn season! There are so many great ways to use them, so I love to stock up when I can and then spend the week making all sorts of recipes that highlight their sweet and tart flavor.
This is a delicious and easy dessert that also wows in presentation. Feel free to substitute out the brown sugar with maple syrup and leave out the margarine or coconut oil to make an extra healthy falltime treat.
Spiced Granola Baked Apples
6 red apples (Gala or Honeycrisp)
1/3 cup almond meal
2/3 cup crushed pecans (pulsed in food processor until crumbly)
1/3 cup toasted buckwheat groats (kasha)
2 tablespoons nondairy margarine or firm coconut oil, chopped into tiny bits
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Dash sea salt
Core the apples making sure to leave the bottom intact. The easiest way to do this is to start with an apple corer and then use a small paring knife or vegetable peeler to scoop out a larger cavity to hold the filling.
Next, peel the apples. Peel them only halfway, making a swirled design from the remaining skin.
In a small bowl, combine the “filling” ingredients with a spoon until very well mixed. Stuff the apples with the filling, dividing evenly among the 6 apples.
Preheat your oven to 375 ºF and place the apples individually into a large-sized muffin pan. Add about 1 tablespoons water to the bottom of each muffin tin and then cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake the apples for 35-40 minutes, or until apples are tender, but not overcooked, or they will fall apart.
Let cool briefly and then serve. Delicious with maple syrup!