Paul Thompson's Mum's Baked Apples





Apples are big in our household, the five of us go through about 70 per week. Mostly we eat them raw. This recipe is a great way of cooking them without having to go to the bother of rolling out pastry. My mum would serve these up in late autumn and winter when we were kids. You can experiment with apple varieties and ingredients, adding chopped toasted walnuts or pecans for instance. I always cook a few extra apples as they are delicious served cold the morning after – and the morning after that, bunged on top of porridge or muesli.

Ingredients

Serves four
4 large baking apples – something with a bit of bite like Granny Smith, Braeburn, Mayflower or Sturmer
  
4 heaped Tbsp brown sugar
  
1 Tbsp honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
    
1/4 cup raisins
    
1 Tbsp butter


1/2 cup apple juice or water
squeeze of fresh lemon

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Wash apples.
Remove most of the cores leaving a thin piece at the bottom to hold in all the juices. It is easier if you have an apple corer to do this but a firm-bladed peeling knife will also do the trick. I normally start the holes with the corer or knife and then use a teaspoon to dig out the seeds and get the hole to about an inch wide.
Using the knife, make a thin horizontal cut like a mini belt – just deep enough to slit the skin -,right around the middle of each apple.
Place the apples in a small baking dish – something that is a reasonably snug fit. If any apples are teetering a bit you can use the knife to take a thin slither off the bottom so they stand stable.
In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, honey, raisins, and butter. Stuff each apple with this mixture.

Add apple juice or water to the baking pan with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Bake for about 45 mins, until tender, but not mushy. Some apple varieties take longer some take less – and size can vary time too.
When ready, remove from the oven spoon some of the pan juices over the apples to glaze their skins.

Serve warm in bowls with a dollop of crème fraiche, yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.
Thanks to my mum Jude x