Granola Stuffed Baked Apples

This recipe makes 8 servings.

Ingredients

8 local, organic apples (I would chose apples that are good for baking Granny Smith, McIntosh)

For the filling

1/2 Cup of your favorite granola, I used a locally made one that had oatmeal clusters and almonds.

1/4 Cup organic, raw, fair trade cane sugar. 

1 Tbsp organic cinnamon

1/4 Cup additional nuts, chopped finely, I used slivered almonds and locally made, maple salted pecans.

Pinch of sea salt, a big pinch if your nuts aren't salted.

1/4 Cup organic, sulphur-free raisins

3 Tbsp of Earth Balance, you can substitute softened butter, the same amount.


For the maple glaze

1/2 Cup fair trade, organic confectioner's sugar, sifted.

3 Tbsp local, organic maple syrup

1 Tbsp of almond milk, I use Silk, any milk or water can be substituted.

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Wash your apples, remove the core about 1/2 an inch above the bottom of the apple with a pairing knife or apple corer.  I did not have an apple corer so I cut around the stem with a pairing knife and then scraped out the seeds and core with a grapefruit spoon (a regular spoon would work fine as well).  You will want your holes to be about an inch wide (this will fit about 3 Tbsp of filling). 

In a small bowl combine the granola, sugar, cinnamon, nuts, salt, raisins and butter.  With your hands work the butter into the mixture until it resembles wet sand.  Stuff the mixture into the apples packing it down to ensure maximum amount of filling (I wanted a good filling to apple ratio, I am the person who thinks the crust is sometimes more delicious than the fruit). Place the apples in a baking pan, I like to always use glass baking dishes I feel it distributes the heat better. Fill the pan with boiling water, halfway up the apples.

Bake 40-60 mins, the baking time will vary depending on the size of your apples and how fresh they are.  Older apples are softer and cook faster mine were very, very ripe; they even had some soft spots so they didn't cook as long.  You will want the skin to look wrinkled and for a butter knife to pierce the flesh easily.  Tender, but not mushy. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

While your apples cool; in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, maple syrup and almond milk.  Mix until combined and smooth.

I like to serve my apples still warm, I cut them in half on a beautiful plate and drizzle with glaze, that way you are sure to get glaze on every single bite. 

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