Fall is an absolutely gorgeous time in Michigan. The leaves start turning from green to yellow, orange and flaming red. The air turns crisp and the farmer's markets have an abundance of apples that you can get super cheap! It is the absolute perfect time to indulge in an apple buying binge...which is how I found this recipe in Vegetarian Times (2010, April). I was struggling to use up my apples, so I started scrounging around through cookbooks and food magazines for the perfect recipe. I did change a little bit of this recipe, but not much. The recipe below is for my version. This is for 4 servings (1 serving = 1/2 of an apple), but it is super easy to double/triple/quadruple/whatev.
For this recipe, I used 2 medium-sized Pinata/Pinova apples, but you can use any apple you want. I like to use a sweet apple that has a hint of tart. I also highly recommend using an apple corer, because it makes a pretty little circle in the apple instead of having to hack out the core with a knife. Also, definitely take a few minutes and toast your walnuts in a small pan. To do this, just turn your burner to medium heat and put your chopped walnuts in a skillet. Stir or shake them around every minute or two, until the nuts are fully heated through and you can smell them toasting. This should take about 4-6 minutes, so be careful to watch them because they can burn very quickly. Quickly remove from heat and set aside. I rarely use nuts in recipes without toasting them anymore. The heat brings out a more intense flavor to the nuts.
- 2 medium or large apples, halved around the equator, washed, cored
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 TB brown sugar
- 2/3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- dash of salt
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted as explained above
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the apples cut side up in a baking dish, and lightly drizzle the cut sides with half of the lemon juice.
- Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Then, sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the cut sides of the apples.
- Pour maple syrup into the bottom of the dish, not on the apples, but around them. Cover dish with foil and bake 10 minutes.
- Remove foil and cook about 15 more minutes (or until apples are as soft as you like them). Then, transfer apples to a serving dish.
- Pour the syrup and pan juices from the baking dish into a small saucepan and heat on medium-high, adding the rest of the lemon and start whisking. Bring the syrup to a boil (takes about 3 minutes) and add the walnuts, still whisking. Let bubble up and thicken for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using a spoon, drizzle the syrup and nuts over the apples, including the core holes. Serve nice and hot!