Monday, January 2, 2012

My New Favorite Baked Apples- Fresh Orange Peel and Sweetner Free!

Come fall and early winter, baked apples are one of my staples.  They're so quick and easy to make, plus they help me make perfect use of any less than perfect apples stored in the bin. And ultimately, they are such a great cold weather comfort food.  I would alternate between just cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and allspice, and make twists involving cayenne, ginger, clove and honey- usually to be eaten with my favorite Greek yogurt, or along side a main dish

This fall, I was making baked apples for a family gathering and was trying to minimize the amount of sugar so that everyone could have some.  I used dried orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, and coriander.  I then divided the giant bowl in two, playing with the level of honey added.  One got a small amount, the other almost none.  Hands down the 'almost none' batch was the favorite.   Since then I've made a few variations and my absolute favorite has fresh orange peel, and no sugar added I love using the fresh orange peel at this time of year when Florida citrus is available.

Good, flavor- filled apples and better quality/ fresh spices are the base of this recipe's success.

. The Recipe
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
-Approx. 5 medium to large apples (I use different varieties together like Stayman, Piney River Gold, Honey Crisp, Fuji etc. ) Peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices.

- 1/2 tsp. dried orange peel or  about 1 tablespoon fresh!
- 1/2 tsp  powdered ginger
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
-approx. 4 tbsp. quality butter

Mix all spices thoroughly with prepared apples in a large bowl, transfer to a 4 quart baking dish and top with butter. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring the apples a couple times to distribute butter and juices. Let cool and enjoy!

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