Sunday, January 07, 2007

It's winter - just doesn't feel like it...Cider-Baked Apples with Dried Cranberries

It really is amazing how mild this winter has been. I went out yesterday, and saw some teenagers in shorts. In January. Amazing.

I've got an ambition to cook more this year. Although I was fairly happy last year - I tried 116 new recipes. I decided to do my best to join in the SGOTW on the CLBB every week. It's a way to get more use out of my cookbook collection. That way I don't feel as guilty when I want to buy more.

This week we were challenged to cook from a cookbook we got for Christmas. I had a choice of three - The New Best Recipe, The Best Light Recipe, and Williams Sonoma Healthy Cooking. All beautiful books, and I believe that I will get some good use from all of them - especially the first two. I went through the two healthy cookbooks, but couldn't decide. I had thought about doing vegetarian bean chili and muffins, but with this weather, not a chance. I decided to use up the cider that is STILL in my fridge.

I love fruit. I also love desserts - but most of the time I don't want the mix the two. If I have a dessert, I want to have a true dessert - which in my mind means chocolate. I decided to open my mind this time, though. And boy - am I glad I did.

In terms of the recipe, I halved it, and left off the walnuts that I have listed in the recipe below. I baked it in a loaf pan - worked out nicely. I especially liked how easily the apple cored when I used the melon baller that was recommended.

The final result was a nicely tender apple. The cider cooked down into a sweet syrup, although there wasn't much of it. There were a ton of dried cranberries, however. And one recommendation - the best dried cranberries I've had are Newman's Own Organic. They are nicely chewy, and when cooked in the cider plumped out beautifully.

The nice thing about this recipe is that I have 1 apple left. I might get to it later this week - it will work as a nice breakfast.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Cider-Baked Apples with Dried Cranberries

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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4 Golden Delicious apples
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup chopped walnuts -- (optional)

Heat oven to 375. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a strip of apple peel from the top of each apple. Stem and core apple using a melon baller, being careful not to cut all the way through the blossom end.

Place the apples in an 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the dried cranberries evenly among the apple cavities. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl, then sprinkle in and around the apples. Pour the cider into the dish, then add the cinnamon sticks and the remaining 1/4 cup cranberries.

Bake apples until tender when pierced with a skewer, 45 to 55 minutes, brushing apples with cider several times during baking. (Be careful not to overbake, or the skins will split). Transfer apples to a serving platter and tent with foil while making sauce.

Pour cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks. Spoon some sauce over apples, and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

"The Best Light Recipe"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 262 Calories; 5g Fat (16.2% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 10mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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