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ALMOND PARADISE BAKED APPLES
Deliciously homespun, this enhanced version of baked apples is no trouble to prepare and creates its own fruity sauce. Almonds take the spotlight in this dessert, which provides a satisfying conclusion to a meal. I included rose water in this recipe for its delightful infusion of flavor. However, if you don't have any on hand, it can easily be omitted without harming the outcome of the recipe.
Almond Paradise baked apples is one of the delicious recipes from Zel Allen's cookbook The Nut Gourmet; Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion published by Book Publishing Company in 2006.
4 large crisp apples (Braeburn, Rome Beauty, Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady)
2/3 cup (160 ml) whole raw almonds
3 tablespoons water
1/2 to 3/4 cup (120 to 180 ml) evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) black raisins
1/4 cup (60ml) golden raisins
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) unsweetened pineapple juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (Gas Mark 4). Wash and core the apples, arrange them in an 8-inch square baking dish, and set them aside.
- To make the filling, grind the almonds to a fine meal in batches in an electric mini-chopper/grinder or coffee grinder. Transfer to the food processor.
- Add the water, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of the evaporated cane juice, the optional rose water, and almond extract, and process into a creamy paste. Spoon into a small bowl and stir in the raisins.
- Using a pointed spoon, fill the apple cavities with the almond filling, packing it firmly. Mound the remaining filling over top of the apples.
- To make the sauce, combine the pineapple juice and the remaining evaporated cane juice in a small bowl, adding more or less evaporated cane juice to achieve the desired sweetness. Pour it into the bottom of the baking dish around the apples. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, shiny side down.
- Bake for 50 to 90 minutes. Test the apples with a fork after 50 minutes. If they are not tender, continue baking until a fork slides into the apples easily. To serve, place the apples into dessert bowls and spoon some of the sauce into each bowl. Serve with spoons, though some people may prefer a knife and fork as well. Makes 4 servings.
Note: The baking time for this recipe has a wide range. Some apple varieties, like Rome Beauty, are softer and bake in 50 to 60 minutes, while very firm apples, like fuji, take longer.
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