This is one of my favorite cold days/holiday desserts. Theoretically, you can have this anytime during the year of course, but it's just one of those things that taste the best when the holidays are just right around the corner. You normally don't have pumpkin spice during summer, do you? :)
Also, this recipe is soooo simple, but yet so good, it should be illegal!
Step 1: Ingredients
These ingredients are general, without exact measurements. You will develop an eye for what works and there really is no right or wrong:
- Liquor, Amaretto, Vanilla Extract, etc.
- Slivered almonds
- Jam (mine was homemade mango-apple jam)
- Ground cloves
- Ground anise
These are just some of the things that you could use, but there are no limits to what you can add. Try adding marzipan or coconut if you like.
Step 2: Prepping the Raisins (optional)
This step is completely optional and will add more prep time, however, I highly recommend it. It just adds so much flavor, that I would never do it without the soaked raisins.
I used approximately a ¼ cup of raisins. Then I added some whiskey (I normally use rum, but didn't have any), homemade vanilla extract and amaretto. My ratio was about 60 whiskey/rum, 20 extract, 20 amaretto. Again, you're not bound to using those particular liquids, but I think they add the best flavor. Let this sit for a few hours or better, over night.
At this point it's good to set out some butter, so it'll be soft by the time the raisins are done soaking.
Step 3: Making the Filling
For the filling I used a small package of slivered almonds and broke them up a little bit so it makes it easier to stuff the apples later. Then I added some spices, like cinnamon, ground cloves and anise and a tiny bit of nutmeg. To this add about one or two tablespoons of jam and a little bit of soft butter as well as the raisins (without the excess liquid). Mix everything well. You might use some of the excess liquid from the raisins if you find your filling too thick, but it should not be runny!
Step 4: Cutting Your Apples
Wash your apples and if you're lucky, you might have an apple corer. If you don't, just use whatever you have laying around in your kitchen. I found a steak knife and metal measuring spoons worked best (to some degree :P). I suggest that you make a bigger cut out on the top, so that the filling won't fall straight through. See picture.
Squeeze some lemons and pour a little of the juice onto the walls of the holes in the apples. Leave just a little juice for later.
At this point you should preheat your oven to 390 Fahrenheit / 200 Celsius.
Step 5: Filling the Apples
Now that you cored your apples and have a perfectly delicious filling, it's time to put the two together. Once you've finished that, pour the remaining lemon juice into the filling of each and then add a little bit of honey on top as well. To finish it all off, cover the opening of the apples with some soft butter.
Put them goodies into the oven for 20 minutes. They should be done after that, but I prefer to broil them for just a few minutes (<5mins) afterwards. Keep an eye on them, since the raisins will burn very rapidly.
Step 6: Serving
These are yummy just by themselves, but you can serve them with cold ice cream or covered with powdered sugar.
Preferably, your apples should be soft on the outside with a little cracked peel, but still somewhat crispy on the inside, a little tart from the lemons and just ohhh so good with that perfect filling.
Did I brag enough about this dessert yet?
Please consider voting for this apple in the Heirloom Recipe contest. ;D