Warm Spiced Baked Apples

It’s winter in Joahnnesburg, South Africa and with a cold front coming in from Cape Town all I can think about is a warm spiced dessert. Whenever I get this yearning, one of my favourite go to recipes is baked apples. For this recipe you can use most varieties of apples but I prefer Pink Lady or Granny Smith

INGREDIENTS

4-6 apples
Apricot jam/jelly (enough to fill the core of the apples)
Handful of raisins
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown or white sugar
1 cup water

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.

Make a slight slit (about 1/2cm or 1/4 inch) around the circumference of the apple (this allows the apple to swell while it bakes and makes it easier to eat once cooked). Next core the apples but don’t go all the way through, only about 3/4 deep. Place the apples in a baking dish and fill the hollowed out space with the apricot jam. Sprinkle with raisins, half the sugar and cinnamon. Add water and remaining sugar to the baking pan, as the apples cook this will mix with the other ingredients and create a beautiful spiced syrup to serve over the apples. Bake for 45 mins or until golden and soft.

Delicious served warm with Vanilla Custard or Ice Cream.

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Blue Cheese, Apple, Dried Fig and Apricot Salad

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INGREDIENTS
1 package mixed lettuce leaves​
2 red apples
1 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup dried apricots
2/3 cup dried figs
1 cup roasted pecans​
1/2 cup blue cheese
1/4 large cucumber

DRESSING
¼ cup canola oil
2 tbls grape vinegar
¾ tsp mustard powder​
2 tbls sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

METHOD

  1. Lay lettuce leaves on a platter.
  2. Quarter apples and remove the core but leave skin on.
  3. Thinly slice the apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
  4. Thinly slice apricots and figs and cucumber.
  5. Crumble blue cheese.
  6. Place apples, figs, apricots, cucumber, cheese and pecans on top of lettuce leaves.
  7. Combine all ingredients for the salad dressing in a small bowl and mix.
  8. Pour dressing over salad just before serving.