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Baked apples make great "comfort food"

"Baked Apples Imperial" is good comfort food during these cold winter days!
"Baked Apples Imperial" is good comfort food during these cold winter days!photo: getcookingsimply.com

On a cold day during the winter, many of us like "comfort" foods. Whenever we feel Mother Nature turning up the chill on our weather, it's a real comfort to enjoy something good and hot from the kitchen to warm us. With this terribly cold weather we've had recently, this kind of food is most welcome!

If you happen to have some apples on hand, let's make a hot dessert with them called "Baked Apples Imperial". These are apples that are much like any baked apple, except they have a filling in them and a orange-flavored glaze on them. They are filled with apricot preserves, almonds butter and brown sugar to blend with the flavor of the apple and make for a good fruit dessert. Many people enjoy hot fruit so if this includes you, then you're in for a treat!

First, you'll want to choose a good baking apple. As I've mentioned in articles before that use apples, it's important to choose one that is good for baking. Not just any apple is best for baking. The best ones I've discovered are the Granny Smith, Rome Beauty and Macintosh varieties. I've made the mistake in the past of using just any apple to bake with and it doesn't work well. For example, while the Red Delicious apple is great for salads and eating out of hand, it doesn't bake well, as it doesn't hold its shape when exposed to heat. So, choose an apple that lends itself to baking and you'll be in good shape.

The apples are only pared on the upper half and cored. The filling is mixed and goes in the center of each apple Orange juice and a few other ingredients are added and poured over. Then, they're ready for the oven. When they're done, a fork or knife inserted in one side of the apple goes in easily. These are great served plain or with cream, either pouring cream, whipped cream or ice cream.

You'll see that this recipe calls for tapioca. This is found in the baking section of most stores where the gelatin is stocked. This is an old-fashioned thickening agent that is used often in fruit desserts and many people recall it being used for tapioca pudding. It only uses 1 teaspoon and that's the correct amount.

Sometime ago, I shared another apple recipe that calls for pastry dough to be wrapped around an apple and baked. It also contains grated cheese in the pastry, which you know goes very well with apples! To get the recipe for "Cheese Apple Dumplings", follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/apples-and-cheese-the-perfect-match

Since I'm speaking about fruit, if you'd like to make a low-sugar fruit spread, here's a video that will show you how:

http://www.examiner.com/article/how-to-make-your-own-low-sugar-fruit-spread

Enjoy some comfort food during this cold spell with a cozy, flavorful fruit dessert!

BAKED APPLES IMPERIAL

  • 6 large baking apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons soft butter
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoons quick-cooking tapioca

Core the apples, leaving a small portion in the blossom end. Pare the upper half of the apples and place in a greased 2 quart baking dish. Combine brown sugar, butter, almonds, apricot preserves and salt. Fill the apples with this mixture. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, basting occasionally. Yield: 6 servings.