Baked apples are one of those desserts I used to read about as a kid--the kind of thing little boys would bake over campfires while waiting for rescuers or dodging them (think Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain, respectively). They're so absurdly simple and impossibly delicious that I can't believe I never made them before--or that my mother never made them for us kids. I suppose she was too busy trying to convince us that apples could be eaten in any other form than pie.
You can make this recipe with as many or as few apples as you like, so long as you have a proportionally sized oven-safe dish to put them in, and scale your ingredients up or down to suit. I will simply relay the portions that I used.
3 small apples (mine were gala)
1/3 cup walnuts
white wine (optional) or water
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Core the apples carefully, cutting from the top making sure to leave the skin at the bottom intact.
Take your walnuts and pound them into submission, then mix with your spices to taste (I like my spices to be strong at this point, since a lot of them cook into the apples). Pack the nut and spice mixture into the wells left by the absent apple cores, and drizzle over the top with a scant tablespoon of honey per apple.
Place the apples in an oven-safe pan (I used a bread pan), and pour about a quarter inch of white wine or water in the bottom of the pan.
Bake until the apples are soft enough to cut easily with a spoon and your house is filled with the smell of deliciousness (around 40 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool before eating, and serve.
VERDICT: Well, they look kinda funky, but they're absolutely scrumptious. I recommend baked apples as a healthy (!) treat to all my friends and family.
* If you're not on a killjoy sugarless diet, you can use brown sugar instead of (or in partnership with) honey. Mix the brown sugar in with the nuts and cinnamon before packing the apples.