Baking fruit introduces a strengthening energy that is the perfect complement to the strong sweetness that is the nature of fruit. Eating a lot of raw fruit can leave us feeling tired, weak, and chilled. Fruit is mostly sugar and water. Cooking, especially baking, introduces the vitality of fire for strength and warmth, gentles the sugars, and creates a satisfying sweet dessert. In this dish, the nuts add lots of energy, providing a balancing counterpoint to the relaxed fruit. Now you know why fruit and nuts go so well together.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 6 large apples (Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, or Rome)
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons Suzanne’s Specialties brown rice syrup
- 1 grated lemon juice and zest
- 1 grated orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
- About 6 tablespoons fruit-sweetened apricot preserves
- 6 whole pecans
- 1 cup unfiltered apple juice
- 2 teaspoons avocado or extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Core the apples, but do not peel. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each apple so it will sit flat. With a sharp paring knife, make a 1-inch-wide by 1-inch-deep hollow in the top of each apple. Arrange the apples in a deep baking dish. Coarsely mince the pecan pieces, raisins, and coconut. Mix them together in a medium bowl, then stir in the rice syrup, lemon and orange zests, and ginger. Fill the hollow of each apple abundantly with the pecan mixture. Spoon a dollop of preserves over the top of each apple, and press a whole pecan on top of the preserves.
- Combine the apple juice and oil in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Spoon into the baking dish around the apples and cover loosely with foil.
- Bake, basting every 10 minutes with the juice, for about 35 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Serve warm, with any remaining juices spooned over the top. These will keep, in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, for to 3 days.