Which leads me to another favorite of mine – baking. This year I made baked apples. I cut the tops off and cored out the apples, scraping some of the fruit away to form a bowl. I cooked unsweetened whole cranberries in a little butter, added a bit of agave nectar for sweetness, some chopped dates, a dash of cinnamon, and the zest and juice of one orange When the cranberries became soft and thickened, I added nuts and filled the apples with the mixture. Then I placed them in a baking dish with a layer of water in the bottom, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. They were warming and delicious, just right for a pre-winter dessert.
Homemade applesauce is easy to fix, too. Peel, core, and cube apples (I like to mix varieties and flavors). I do the same with a pear or two. Put the fruit in a saucepan, add apple juice, a tad nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste. Cook over medium heat until the fruit is soft. Then mash them together. A potato masher works fine. Leave some chunky pieces for interest.
Any apple recipes among your cooking favorites? Willing to share? Feel free to tell us about them.
For your info: there are lots and lots of apple varieties, enough for every letter of the alphabet according to this website http://www.allaboutapples.com/varieties/ Pretty terrific, for the apple lovers out there.
Happy apple-ing and a very Happy New Year!