It's no secret that Autumn is my favourite season. Where content for my insta feed and blog just seems to naturally flow. I don't really have to plan or think about it, it just happens. I love making home, being cosy, comfort food, blustery walks and chunky socks so Autumn is my season.
Food features highly this season, I go into full force squirrel mode! Making lots of sweet treats to share with family and friends, with some to store away in the freezer, for a little pick me up when the crazy Christmas season starts. Likewise with curries and casseroles, I like to make things in batch from the gluts of fruits and veg we are seeing now and freeze them up to help keep us healthy through the winter months. I also find having so many meals prepped takes a whole heap of the stress from our busiest time of year. It might seem like a lot of work now but I just know the 'future Lindsay & Tony' will be grateful. I learnt the hard way that hot dogs wrapped in bread are not actually food and they will not provide the nutrients or sustenance I need to get me through!!
Fresh and home grown fruit and vegetables are available in abundance at the moment. I don't yet have the allotment of my dreams but I'm now only 36 on the list!! Apples are plentiful here, being in the south west, I think they must like all the mizzle! Or you might be lucky enough to have a kindly neighbour who generously leaves apples in a box by their door, for you all to share!
I found out earlier this year that unless they are cooked first, I am allergic to some apples, along with lots of other tree fruits. So I set about creating some new yummy puddings, with cooked fruits that are even a little on the healthy side, so I can still get the nutrients from the fruit but without the face bloating and sneezing! This baked apple recipe might be simple, but it is packed with flavour and goodness. It's my healthier take on a traditional apple crumble, but it tastes just as good, if not better.
You might find useful:
I used a bag of chopped nuts and added a few extra chunky pieces of chopped pecan and juicy dates, you should use whichever dried fruits and nuts you like best, experiment with different flavours. There's no real rules here.
I found that if you slice the apples to about 1/2 centimeter then you don't need to peel them. However if I was making this dish for a dinner party I would probably go a little thicker and peel them. I cut across the apple, as this provides lovely rounds with a pretty star shape through the centre of each apple piece.
3 cooking apples / sliced crossways
1/2 lemon / juice and grated rind
1 cup roughly chopped mixed nuts / hazelnuts, peanuts and pecans
1 cup roughly chopped dried fruits / raisins, sultanas and dates
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinammon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pre-heat oven to 180 oC (medium-high)
Layer the sliced apples in the bottom of a shallow oven proof dish, you may like to use a little coconut oil in the base and sides to prevent sticking. Pour the lemon juice and a table spoon of the maple syrup over the apples.
Mix the chopped nuts and fruits together in a separate bowl. Then coat with the maple syrup so they are all covered and shiny.
Tip this nutty fruity goodness over the apples and bake in to oven for 30 minutes or until the apples are cooked and squishy. You may find that the nuts start to burn before the apples are cooked. If this happens simply cover loosely with a lid or foil until the apples are cooked.
Serve warm with cream (preferably clotted and Cornish) or your favourite icecream. Leftovers are delicious for breakfast with yogurt!