But today's blog is about baked apples, one of my favorite winter comfort foods. Baked apples take me back to my childhood on Long Island, where the winters were cold and the kitchen was warm. Baked apples make me think of dragging my sled up the little hill on our front lawn and coasting down it, or "bellywhoppin'" down the street with our sleds. Baked apples meant mom's in the kitchen, all's right with the world.
So here is my own variation on baked apples, which is a cross between my mom's recipe, my friend Lisa's, and my own inability to follow anyone else's recipe. Abysmally simple, and absolutely scrumptious.
4 large rome apples
4 TBS butter or substitute (Smart Balance, Earth Balance etc.)
2 heaping TBS brown sugar
dash of cinnamon
3/4 tsp orange extract or orange liqueur
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. When thoroughly blended, add the extract.
Wash apples thoroughly and core. (That's the biggest job.) Place them in a shallow baking dish. Place equal amounts of the butter/brown sugar mixture in the center of each apple. Bake for 50 minutes, or until apple skins start to split.
Note: I don't like to peel my apples for this dish. I love eating the baked skins. They're delicious and add fibre to the food.
I like serving this dish with plain yogurt in the center. You can substitute anything else that appeals to you - vanilla flavored yogurt, sour cream - whatever.
Hey! This worked! OK, so you already know that I grew up on Long Island. I've migrated west since then. I lived for 12 years in New Mexico (future posts on my love affair with chili) and worked as a potter. Now I live in San Diego and am an acupuncturist and herbalist. Food and photography are my hobbies, though obviously food photography isn't my strongest suit. (I'm a people photographer primarily). But I'm learning!