Makes 4
       A tried-and-true favorite in the U.S. since Colonial times, baked apples are a plump, succulent dessert that can be made in a jiffy while diners enjoy their meals. Make extra for a quick snack or dessert later.

4 apples, cored

1/4 cup
nut or seed butter (almond butter or sesame tahini)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or ¼ teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg
2 tablespoons apple juice or cider
I tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 cup raisins or currants

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. With a fork, mix nut butter, cinnamon, juice and sweetener. Stir in the raisins. Transfer the apples to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Insert the filling with a teaspoon. (Mix up more filling if apples, or the holes you’ve made, are particularly large.)

3. Bake the apples until they are soft enough to pierce easily, up to 45 minutes depending on the variety. The softer, the better, for eating enjoyment.

Notes: All apples are great prepared this way. I’ve baked Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Gravenstein, Jonathan, Jonagold, Cortland, Pippin, McIntosh, Winesap, Blushing Gold, Autumn Glory, Ambrosia Gold, Envy, and Mutsu apples this way.
Don’t cover the apples with foil unless you want them to fall apart and turn into delicious applesauce. A cooking class assistant of mine—in Leiden, Holland—made this “mistake”…and we ate it all.

Variations: Nutty Raisin-Miso Stuffing: Add a teaspoon of any variety of miso to the stuffing ingredients for added depth of flavor and nutrition.
For another filling, include 1/4 cup each toasted, chopped nuts, and fruit preserves. Almonds with either strawberry or apricot jam are nice combinations.

For 4 servings, per serving:
Calories: 256   Protein: 3gm   Saturated Fat: 1gm   Fiber: 7gm   Carbohydrate: 43gm   Fat: 10gm   Cholesterol: 0   Sodium: 3mg
Calories from Protein: 5%     Calories from Fat: 33%     Calories from Carbohydrate: 62%