Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stuffed Baked Apples - serve with porkchops!

This title takes on a WHOLE new meaning for me now that the most devistating of fires has taken place in Richland Center, WI where the Oakwood Fruit Farm retail store and cold storage building (and all 40,000 bushel - that's 1,600,000 pounds - of apples in their cold storage burnt to the ground on 10-10-10.  It is the apple orchard that I grew up shopping at - and actually where these apples were bought as my Mom and I and the kids went there on 10-8-10. 
You can see the devistating pictures on their facebook page or at http://www.channel3000.com/.  It's a horrible thing!  Hopefully insurance will assist this family owned fruit farm - and since their trees were not harmed, they will be back next season with a beautiful new facility.  Hopefully they will find ways to incorporate the "small town family feel" into their new facility.  As it always is with these types of family owned business, part of what makes it so amazing and memorable is the people and the history and the silly little things that they have on the wall - and the pictures of the hundred of thousands of kids that have toured their facility over the years!

ANYWAY, on to more positive things, this apple dish is SO AMAZING!  I can't wait to make it, it's something I make at least once per fall, and could probably make about 10 times each fall!  It's got apples, oats, nuts, raisins, cinnamon - all GOOD things for you!  And we love the way it makes the house smell too! 

4 apples - red, green, yellow - with skins ON!

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup walnut or pecan pieces
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 tsp butter
1/2 cup apple juice

Cut into the stem side of the apple.  Remove as much of the stem area as you can WITHOUT CUTTING THRU THE APPLE!  You are creating a cavern, a bowl, a place to put your goodies.  You CANNOT cut through the apple or the goodness will fall out the bottom!  I use a knife to "loosen" the stem, then a grapefruit knife to dig the "ick" out.  (if you do cut through the apple you can cut the apple completely in half and do a similar dish, but with lay the apples on their skin sides down and pile the goodies on top of the apple in the core hole that you created).

Combine oats, sugar, nuts, raisins, and spices in a bowl.  Mix well, then put these things into the "caverns" that you made in the apples. Pack the stuff in pretty tight so that it all fits - it's ok if it sort of rests on top of the apple.

Place the apples, goodies side up, in a baking dish.  Pour the apple juice along side the apples.  Put a tsp of butter on top of the goodies.

Put in a hot oven - anywhere from 350 to 450 degrees if you are baking something else - just adjust the time accordingly.  Bake until the apples are really soft - about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. (Less time if you've halved the apples and have them laying down).   Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.  Awesome with a scoop of ice cream, but the ice cream isn't necessary...

This makes a great kid breakfast too!

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