A stomach-soothing treat that's a perfect compliment to cozy autumn weather. And it will leave your kitchen smelling heavenly!
My friend Mat says this baked apple dish reminds him of an old folk recipe.
When he was little and had an upset tummy, his Russian grandmother would cut up an apple and leave it out on the counter for a few minutes, until it began to brown. Then his grandmother would say, “Come eat, tatellah” (“little man” in Yiddish). Lo and behold, a few minutes later his stomach felt better.
He always figured it was love at work (and, of course, it was), but now we know there’s also some science involved: As they brown—or cook, in this case—apples release pectin, which naturally soothes the belly. Here, the apples are complemented by a whole host of tasty morsels and spices—toasted pecans, dates, orange zest and cinnamon.
¼ cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
¼ cup Medjool dates, pitted and finely diced
Zest and juice of 1 orange
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 baking apples, such as Pink Lady, Pippin or McIntosh
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
Unfiltered apple juice, for baking
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine pecans, dates, orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon and salt. Stir.
2. Core the apples, leaving half an inch at the bottom and peel top edges. Stuff the apples with pecan filling and dot with butter. Put the apples in a baking pan, pour about 1 inch of apple juice over apples and cover tightly with foil. Bake 40-60 minutes, till apples are tender but not mushy. Poke with a fork to test if done.
3. Serve apples warm, drizzled with the apple juice from the baking pan.
Rebecca’s Notes: Use a melon baller to scoop out the apple core; it’s very important that you keep the base intact. If you don’t have dates or pecans, substitute currants or raisins and walnuts or almonds. If nuts are a problem, simply omit them.