Looking for an eye-healthy dessert? Then one with an apple is your answer. Best when newly harvested, which is now, apples are a good source of fiber as well as vitamins A and C, which are known to prevent age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye diseases. Known as an appetite suppressant, apples are also rich in the powerful flavonoid quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant against other age-related diseases. Add some additional antioxidant dried fruit and some Omega-3 nuts, and you have a top-notch delicious way to keep those peepers healthy!
What you’ll need to serve 4:
- 4 large-good baking apples (Rome Beauty, Braeburn, Gala, Gravenstein, and York Imperial)
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
- 4 tablespoons ( ½ stick ) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups sparkling apple juice
- ¼ cup frozen concentrated apple juice, thawed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove stems from apples and using a melon baller, scoop out the core of each apple, making a 1-inch wide hollow center – leaving the bottom of the apple intact. Make a 1/8-inch deep cut in the skin around the center of each apple. Place apples, hollowed side up, in an 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish.
- In a medium-small bowl, thoroughly mix the cherries, cranberries, apricots, walnuts, sugar, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Pack the fruit/nut mixture into the apple hollows. Sprinkle any remaining fruit/nut mixture around the apples in the dish.
- Mix the sparkling apple juice, apple concentrate and remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon together. Pour it in the dish.
- Bake the apples, uncovered, until tender, occasionally basting with the juice mixture, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. You can check doneness with a skewer and look for a bit of caramelization on top.
- Transfer apples to 4 bowls. Pour the juices from the dish into a medium saucepan and boil until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4-5 minutes. Spoon sauce over the apples. Enjoy!
Thoughts and variations:
You can mix and match the dried fruit and substitute other dried fruit like raisins. Substitute chopped almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts for the walnuts or leave them out entirely. You can substitute honey or maple syrup for the dark brown sugar. Try allspice instead of cinnamon.
Recipe source, Discovery Eye Foundation