Spiced Baked Apples

Grandpa Ish or "Bacca" is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who owned highly regarded and reviewed restaurants in California in the 80s and 90s (and naturally that's why I married into the family ;) ). Dad is retired now but his imagination and culinary creativity are very much alive. On a recent visit to Hong Kong, he made these gorgeous spiced baked apples for an easy weeknight dessert and both son and grandson were floored. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, these beauties will give any ol' Apple Pie a run for its money. 

Science Corner
Cinnamon helps stabilise blood sugar so I literally throw it in everything, especially sugary treats. It lends a comforting and warming spiced aroma and flavour to anything from porridge to baked apples to chicken stews and even soups like our Moroccan Lentil Soup here. Cardamom is a luxurious, floral and peppery spice with umpteen health benefits previously discussed here. And of course, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Ingredients
1 apple good for baking like Golden Delicious
1/2 teaspoon coconut or brown sugar
3-5 large golden raisins
3-5 dried cranberries
2 cloves cardamom
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon preferably Ceylon
1 small square slice butter
Boiling water

Method
Preheat the oven to 375F / 190C.

Core and de-seed the apple with a sharp paring knife, a peeler with a pointed edge or an apple corer if you have one, creating a hollow about an inch in diameter. Be sure to leave a good amount of flesh at the bottom to hold the filling.  Sprinkle the bottom of the apple with the sugar and fill the hollow with the raisins, cranberries and smashed cardamom cloves. Drizzle the maple syrup on top and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place the square of butter on the apple. 

Place the stuffed apple in an oven proof dish containing 2 inches of boiling water. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes until the bottom of the apple is fork tender. Serve with vanilla ice-cream or as is for a nutritious, delicious and decadent tasting dessert.