Friday, February 15, 2013

Maple Pecan Crusted Apples

Early in January, I was asked by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic to join her Eating the Alphabet Healthy Challenge.  The challenge is to make foods that feature fruits, vegetables, grains or beans starting with different letters of the alphabet each month.

This month was either 'A' or 'B'.  When I told my husband about this, he suggested avocados... I think this is because we eat avocados A LOT.  However, I kept going back to a recipe for baked apples that I had seen as part of the Secret Recipe Club.  So, in order to challenge myself, for the purposes of the swap, I abandoned my husband's avocado suggestion and went for the baked apple suggestion. 

I hope you follow this swap throughout the year and if you're interested in joining, head on over to Brenda's blog to sign up!

Maple Pecan Crusted Apples
slightly adapted from Sustainable Cooking for One
1 medium apple
Pinch of: cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
2 tablespoons craisins
2 tablespoons chopped raw pecans
1 tablespoon maple syrup (real, preferably grade B)

1) Peel one circle around the middle of the apple, and a little off the top of the apple. Remove the core.
2) Place the apple in a small baking dish or oven-safe bowl. Mix together the spices and roll the apple in them.
3) Mix any remaining spices with the craisins, and add about 1/3 of the pecans. Stuff that mixture into the center of the apple. Pour the maple syrup over the apple, and top with the remaining pecans. 4) Bake until soft (mine baked about 40 minutes, but it will vary for the size of the apple). Spoon the syrup over the apple before serving.

I loved these apples because I just made one for my husband and one for me, so there isn't a whole nine by thirteen pan of dessert sitting at our house calling our name.  We felt like we ate something sweet enough to qualify as a dessert, but weren't so bogged down that we felt guilty. 

One of my favorite desserts is those baked apples that you can get at places like Boston Market.  They are just so comforting.  This tastes very similar.  I went a little heavier on the cinnamon, so that was the predominant spice flavor in ours.  The maple syrup kind of cramelized and made a delicious coating.  I liked the nut addition as well as the craisins, I think they would have been missed if they hadn't been added.  We learned that  fruit can make a very delicious dessert...and simple too.

1 comment:

  1. These look great and are a wonderful choice for this first round!