Dried figs and cinnamon add exotic flavor to this cold-weather dessert.
• 6 baking apples, such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Rome Beauty
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup melted butter
• 1/3 cup honey
• 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
• 1/2 cup uncooked regular oats
• 1/4 cup diced dried figs (about 4 to 5 dried figs)
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/2 cup apple juice or water
• Ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, sweetened whipped cream and fresh lemon balm sprigs, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut a thin slice from bottom of each apple, forming a flat surface. Cut 1/4 to ½ inch off the top of each apple. Core apples, starting at stem end, without cutting through opposite end. Scoop out pulp to remove remaining core and to create a cavity for stuffing. Brush exposed flesh of apple with lemon juice.
3. Combine melted butter and honey in a medium bowl. Stir in walnuts, oats, figs and cinnamon; stuff each apple cavity with the mixture. Place apples in a baking dish. Top each apple with a thin slice of butter; pour apple juice around apples. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.
4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove foil and continue to bake 10 to 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Garnish as desired with cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, whipped cream and/or fresh lemon balm.
Frequent contributor Kris Wetherbee writes and gardens in the hills of western Oregon.
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