Baked apples are one of my favourite desserts on cold, wet, windy days. They can be made ahead and baked hours before your company arrives. Simply heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes before serving.
You can use apples you have on hand. The recipe shown here is made with two McIntosh and two Gala apples but others will taste just as delicious. I always have fresh lemons, maple syrup, pecans or walnuts, and butter in the fridge and large, black Thompson raisins in the cupboard.
Baked Apple Recipe
In a medium bowl, mix together
1/2 cup coarsley chopped raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. lemon zest (the zest of about half a lemon)
Remove the core from 4 apples.
Press as much mixture as you can into each apple and place them in a pie plate lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle the rest of the raisin/nut mixture around the apples.
Drizzle the apples with 1/2 cup pure maple syrup.
Bake 375 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes. Spoon some of the hot syrup mixture over the apples every 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with French vanilla icecream.
These can be made several hours ahead, covered, and then reheated just before serving.