Contributed by: Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites
By Mary Ann Esposito,
Our diets are in peril! Like clockwork, as soon as the New Year begins, so do all those ads telling us how unfit we are. There are so many diet plans that would have us beat the battle of the bulge as we enter a new year. But while we all scramble in the grocery store to find something healthy to cook, my sweet tooth has kicked in and I am craving something sinfully sweet and succulent to help ward off the winter blues. That nagging feeling leads me right to the produce department. Aha, caught you! Maybe you thought that I was going to recommend some cake, pie, cookies or ice cream. Not a chance. I am thinking sweets that are good for you like baked apples with walnuts and figs, or pears baked in wine. All the ingredients to make them are readily available and the recipes are easy to make. But the best part is how surprisingly good they taste, leaving you not caring a wit if you ever eat pie, cake or cookies again. Your diet, if you stay on it, will thank you.
Put the figs in a small bowl and cover them with hot water; allow them to stand for 30 minutes to soften them. Drain them, cut off the stems and discard them. Cut the figs into small pieces and place them in a bowl with the apricots and walnuts. Stir in the honey and coat the fruits well.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Divide and stuff the mixture in the cored apples.
Dot the apples with the butter and place them in a baking dish.
Pour the orange juice in the bottom of the dish.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the apples are just soft but not collapsed.
Serve warm with some of the pan juices.
The apples can also be cooked in a microwave oven on high power for 4 to 5 minutes. Microwaves vary, so check your settings.
©2010 Mary Ann Esposito, author of Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites: Quick and Delicious Recipes from an Italian Kitchen
Mary Ann Esposito, author of Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites: Quick and Delicious Recipes from an Italian Kitchen, is the creator and host of the long-running PBS seriesCiao Italia, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010. She is the author of eleven successful cookbooks, including Ciao Italia Slow and Easy and Ciao Italia Pronto! She lives in Durham, New Hampshire.
For more information, please visit www.CiaoItalia.com.
Serving Size: Makes 4 Servings
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