Maple and pecan baked apples

Maple and pecan baked apples

Jo Arnell creates a warming feast...

Slow cookers are making a comeback, and they are money saving and convenient, it's true, but I can't bring myself to use one, (there was often something lurking murkily in one when I was a child) so I've cooked these recipes in the oven. Flavour is the best thing about cooking food slowly, especially meat (those austerity cuts really can't be cooked quickly). So put the oven on low (or go retro and plug in the slow cooker), then turn your mind to other things for a few hours while the dish does its slow and cosy thing.

You can bake any type of apple, but tart cooking apples fluff up the best.

  • headings
  • serves 4
  • preperation time
  • cooking time 1½ hours
  • 4 Bramley apples
  • 100g pecan nuts roughly chopped (preferably toasted)
  • 75 ml maple syrup
  • 50g chopped dates
  • 25g butter
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 300F/150C/gas 2.
  2. Core or scoop out the middle of the apples and arrange in a roasting tray.
  3. Mix the dates and pecans together and pile into the middle of each apple, scattering any excess in the pan.
  4. Drizzle about a tablespoon of maple syrup over the nuts and dates, dot with butter and bake slowly in the oven for around 1½ hours. They'll burst if cooked on a high heat.
  5. Serve with another spoon of maple syrup and whatever else you like – ice cream/cr&eagrave;me fraîche/custard...
    1. To find out more about Jo's practical gardening workshops, run from her garden in Woodchurch, call 01233 861186 or visit www.hornbrookmanor.co.uk

      • recipes Insert Jo Arnell
      • pictures David Merewether