k  Best Baked Apples  k

Sometimes it’s the oldies that are the goldies. I had forgotten the pleasures of a baked apple. Soft, plump and loaded with my favourites – almonds, apricots, prunes, sultanas, cinnamon, orange zest and for a little sweetness some maple syrup or honey.

I also drizzle over a good glug of amaretto (calvados perhaps the more appropriate choice) but the almondy sweetness really works .

Make sure you baste a few times towards the end of cooking – the heavenly liquor is out of this world delicious. Serve with custard if you are old school or frozen greek yoghurt, labneh or whipped coconut cream if you are nu skool! The leftovers (if any) are perfecto as a porridge topper or with yoghurt and granola. ¡Buen provecho!


(Serves 4)

4 organic eating apples (braeburn, fuji, gala)
50g (or a handful) unsulfured apricots
50g (or a handful) sultanas
50g (or a handful) stoned prunes
30g (or a handful) almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
zest of half and orange
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
50 ml Amaretto (or brandy or calvados)
match box size chunk of butter


1. Turn the oven on to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Core the apples (best if you have an apple corer) then cut a small slice off the base so they won’t fall over in the baking tray. Score them around their circumference with a sharp knife too, to stop them bursting.
2. Mix the fruit, nuts, syrup, cinnamon, zest and amaretto together in a bowl.
3. Stand in a baking dish and using your fingers push the fruity mixture into each apple, using up all the mixture between them.
4. Add a blob of butter to the top of each apple and cover with foil and Bake for around 45 minutes until soft but not collapsing,
5. Remove the foil about two-thirds of the way through cooking and basting with the buttery juices…serve the apples with the juices spooned over them and a scoop of what you fancy on the side.