Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Almond-Stuffed Baked Apples with Caramel-Apple Sauce

I'm anticipating the flavors of fall a little with this recipe... Although the new season isn't officially here for another 22 days, it is September, so I couldn't resist.

Toast 1/4 cup of sliced almonds for a minute or two in a skillet over medium heat. Place in a food processor and process until finely ground.

You need less than one whole "egg" to act as a binder for this part of the recipe, so I just combined 3/4 tsp. Ener-G egg replacement powder with 1 tablespoon of warm water (half the normal amount called for); stir with a whisk. Combine the 'egg' with the ground almonds, along with 2 tablespoons raw sugar, 1 teaspoon melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract, a dash of salt, and a dash of nutmeg; stir until combined.

Cut 2 Braeburn apples in half. Scoop out the cores and seeds - a melon baller works well, but a tablespoon measure will do in a pinch. You should have about a tablespoon-ful deep pocket in each apple half. Slice a thin sliver off the rounded side of each apple half so they sit flat on a surface. Place the apples, flesh-side up, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar and 1/8 tsp. cinnamon evenly over the apples, then place about 1 tablespoon of the almond filling into the hollow you scooped out of each apple half.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine 1/4 cup raw sugar with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons water in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the mixture begins to brown. I was quite surprised that the original recipe didn't give any estimate for how long this would take. Because of that, I probably over-anticipated and turned the heat down to low too early - after about 5 minutes. I'd recommend more like 6 or 7 minutes if I was doing it over again, since my sauce wasn't quite thick enough.

Once the sugar mixture begins to brown, reduce the heat to low. Pour in 1/4 cup apple cider slowly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons brandy, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Grand Marnier, 1/2 tsp. vegan butter and just a pinch of salt. (Both of those liquors are vegan, if other vegan recipe websites online are any guide).

Serve 1 stuffed apple half with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sauce for 4 desserts of 190 calories each.

ground nutmeg $5.99
Braeburn apples $2.44
apple cider $2.99
brandy $15 (an estimate! I threw out this receipt by accident)
Grand Marnier $3.25 (for a very small bottle)

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html