Baked apples with candied pecans and crumble topping

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Ever since seeing all of the beautiful apples at Dupont Circle Farmers Market in DC, I’ve been wanting to make baked apples. It’s such a good way of using one of the season’s best ingredients with a recipe that transports me right back to when I was young and we would eat them as a family on bonfire night or after an autumn walk in the cold.

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They’re really simple to make and are actually great fun to make with children. An adult will obviously need to core the apples, but then you just give each child an apple with a bit of baking parchment underneath so that the yummy filling won’t fall out, lay out all of the different fillings you might want to use like dates, raisins, ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon sugar, and let them pick and choose what to stuff their apples with. Then you can use the cooking instructions in the recipe below to bake them.

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Ingredients

Makes 4

  • 4 Bramley cooking apples

For the filling:

  • 2 large medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp mixed dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, currants etc.)
  • 1 piece stem ginger in syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp apple brandy (Calvados)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp melted butter

For the candied pecans:

  • 3-4 tbsp pecans
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

For the crumble topping:

  • 25g Caster sugar
  • 25g Butter
  • 50g Flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Core the apples and score a line around the middle with a sharp knife to prevent it from exploding in the oven.
  3. Chop the ingredients for the filling, mix together, and then stuff the middles of the apples.
  4. Mix together the crumble ingredients with your fingers until you get a fairly fine consistency and there aren’t any lumps of butter left. Sprinkle over the assembled apples.
  5. Pop the apples in the oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Start to toast the pecans in a dry pan until you start to smell their aroma. Then add the sugar and stir until the sugar melts and covers the nuts. Take off the heat and pour the pecans over a sheet of baking parchment until cool. Then they’re ready to chop.
  7. Take the apples out of the oven when the skin is browned and starting to wrinkle.
  8. Sprinkle the candied pecans over each apple and serve with some vanilla ice-cream.
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