A delicious, healthy, low sugar dessert perfect for using whatever you have around the house. Stuffed with pecans, sultanas and cinnamon, the maple syrup and butter filling turns into a beautiful caramel sauce.
The third and last of my healthy baking series are these simple baked apples. This is one of my favourite desserts all year round as it is so quick and involves things that I pretty much always have around the house. Plus, it is genuinely healthy (as far as you can have a healthy dessert of course!) because they are low in sugar and count as 1 of your 5 a day!
I use maple syrup as the sugar in this recipe; you could use any sugar, but I personally love the flavour of maple syrup. Nothing compares in my book! Plus, as an unrefined sugar, it is marginally better for you that using refined white caster sugar… but let’s be honest – the choice should be all about the flavour (especially if it’s got base!). As the recipe also uses sultanas (you could use any dried fruit really) and a sweet eating apple, you don’t need to add much maple syrup at all. The dessert is already quite sweet on it’s own, making it a perfect weekday evening treat.
If that doesn’t tempt you enough, then let me tell you that honestly the hardest bit of this dessert is cutting the centre out of the apples, which can be done with a small sharp knife or an apple corer if you’re lazy, like me. That really is as hard as it gets! Once this is done, all that is left is mixing the remaining ingredients and stuffing the centre, and then baking. Easy!
My recipe uses sultanas, pecans and cinnamon – which is just perfect at this time of year when the warming spices infiltrate your house as the apples bake. But you could make these at any time of year, with anything you have in the cupboards really! Vanilla works well with walnuts and cranberries; or use pistachios and raisins. Really anything goes!
- 2 eating apples – I used Pink Ladies
- 2 tbsp sultanas
- 2 tbsp pecan nuts, lightly crushed
- 1 tbsp dairy free butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Optional: dairy free cream or ice cream.
- Remove the core from the apples using a corer or a knife. Make sure you’ve gotten all the pips out. Lightly score a line all around the apples (this controls how the skin splits when baking).
- In a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients (except for the optional ice cream of course!).
- Stuff the cores with the sultana mix – use your fingers to really squash as much in as possible.
- Put the remaining sultana mix in a small oven proof dish, and sit the apples on top.
- Bake for 25 – 35 minutes at 190 degrees until the apples are soft but still retain their shape.
- Serve immediately on their own, drizzled with a little extra maple syrup they don’t really need anything extra. For a naughty treat, add a small scoop of dairy free ice cream.