As a child growing up on a fifth generation apple farm, my mom frequently whipped up baked apples for a naturally sweet, yet healthy afternoon snack for me, often from apples plucked moments earlier from trees in our yard. The memory makes me smile and my taste buds hunger for it once again. Here, I offer a more sophisticated version of my childhood treat, chock full of oats, nuts, dried cranberries, warming spices and, thanks to Gustare Sweet Butter Extra Virgin Olive Oil, not a scrap of saturated fat. The ever-so-slightly tangy Bourbon Maple Balsamic glaze adds a nice balance to the sweetness of the fruit.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
Dietary Specifications: dairy free, gluten free
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. apple cider
¼ c plus 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
4 Gala apples, washed and cored
¾ cup raw gluten-free oats
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. pecans, roughly chopped
6 tbsp. brown sugar
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. plus ⅛ t nutmeg
pinch 1830 Sea Salt
2 tbsp. 100% pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Bring apple cider to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Add dried cranberries and soak to reconstitute. Prepare apples in the meantime.
- Combine oats, pecans, brown sugar and seasonings. Stir together.
- Blend in Gustare Sweet Butter olive oil, stirring well to distribute evenly.
- Drain dried cranberries, reserving apple cider for later use. Add cranberries to filling and stir well.
- Stuff mixture into cored apples. Be sure to press filling tightly into the cores and allow the “overflow” to create a crown over the top of each apple.
- Place stuffed apples in shallow baking dish. Sprinkle excess streusel across the base of the dish and moisten with all reserved apple cider.
- Bake apples uncovered for 40-45 minutes, until crisp-fork tender but not mushy.
- Prepare reduction while apples are baking. Bring Gustare Bourbon Maple balsamic vinegar and pure maple syrup to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to simmer. Cook approximately 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until balsamic is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Cool before serving.
- Drizzle glaze over warm apples, top with excess crispy baked streusel and enjoy!
Serving Suggestions: The baked apple can stand deliciously on its own, but you can make it a bit more decadent by serving it warm with your favorite ice cream. Or, start your morning off right with a baked apple for breakfast. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt or chop it up and stir into oatmeal.
The streusel alone provides an excellent topping for your favorite fruit crisp. Try it. Remember, you won’t even miss the butter when you have Gustare Sweet Butter Olive Oil!