Not quite how mum used to make (maybe better!).
Baked whole apples with a sweet spicy filling are simple fare, but somehow decadent. I like that. Serve with custard or lightly whipped cream, or with blobs of vanilla ice cream. Hot apples and cold ice cream is truly good.
Choose large, firm and tart apples. Sweet apples will be boring, trust me. I use Ballarat because they have a great texture, hold their shape after cooking and have a nice tangy nip. Make a cut around the waist of each apple to prevent apples bursting. If you don’t do this, your apples might explode in the oven! Scoop out most of the core, but don’t go right through. I use an apple corer to push through, taking care to leave a bit of core at the bottom so that the filling and juices stay in the cavity. Fill apples with soft brown sugar, lemon zest, sultanas, mixed spice and flaked almonds. Put apples in an ovenproof dish with 3 tablespoons of water. Top each apple with small dabs of butter, and that’s it. Bake for about 40 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C (350°F), or until tender. My advice – don’t serve these after a humungous meal, let them be the star of a one-course simple meal. You’ll love them, I hope.