This simple, healthy dessert is one of my family's favorites. You can fancy up these baked apples with a scoop of vanilla ice cream garnished with chopped walnuts, but I think they're scrumptious as they are, in all their cran-orange wonderfulness! They're good at any temperature, too, which makes things easy on the busy holiday cook. Serve right from the oven, baked the day before and then chilled, or at room temperature, perhaps with a tiny sliver of pumpkin pie if you're feeling really self-indulgent!
Use this recipe as a jumping-off point, and don't be afraid to use whatever you have in the pantry instead of what is written here. No walnuts? Try pecans. Someone isn't a a fan of raisins in your family? Try a mix of diced dried apricots and figs. Or you might want to replace some of the water with pineapple juice. And as far as spices--what about some ginger? Powdered, julienned fresh, or candied--up to you!
Or just follow the easy steps below for a tried and true dessert that I hope will become a beloved tradition in your family, too. Happy Thanksgiving!
Heat oven to 350 degrees
4 large Rome or Cortland apples (about 2lbs total)
1 cup cranberries
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 cups water
Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium flame cranberries and raisins in covered saucepan until cranberries pop open. Remove from flame and stir in spices and juice concentrate. Core apples and peel the tops. Place in a tightly fitting baking dish. Pour juice and fruit mixture over all, packing fruit into cores. Bake until soft, basting frequently with juice.