When is a pie crust not a pie crust?
When it's the shell of an apple that cleverly acts as a holder for pie ingredients.
Just days ago I discovered a fun new recipe, the outcome of which was brimming with health and goodness but amazed me at its ability to taste like a pie without the usual flour/water/oil crust.
The secret was finding baking apples such as Granny Smith that are tart and are designed to be baked in the oven rather than merely eaten as snacks.
Our grocery happened to be running a special on its fresh shipment of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries--the first three ingredients in the Baked Apples with Berries recipe I'd just discovered. (Thanks again to my "Celebrating a Healthy Harvest" booklet, which has recipes categorized by fresh fruits and vegetables. Each fruit or vegetable features two recipes that can be prepared with that particular produce item.)
Besides being sure to use baking rather than snacking apples, another key to this recipe is to core the apple only three-quarters of the way down rather than hollowing out the full depth of the apple. Leaving some uncored portion at the bottom retains the fruit mixture during the baking process and helps the skin serve as the "pie shell" I mentioned. The rest of the instructions appear below.
After baking this concoction for 45 minutes, the apple skin made a wonderful holder for the baked berries and then the yummy fruit and yogurt mixture that's added after baking.
We dined on our Baked Apples with Berries at dinner while they were warm from the oven and saved the remaining two stuffed apples for the next day's lunch. For lunch I ate mine cold, straight from the refrigerator--equally delicious!
Baked Apples with Berries
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup blueberries
4 large baking apples (I used Granny Smith), washed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
slivered almonds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Core apples about three-quarters o the way through the apple. Start at the stem. Make the hole more than 1 inch wide. Place apples in baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Rinse and drain berries. Combine berries and then pack berries firmly into the opening in each apple. Set extra berries aside. Bake apples until they are soft, about 45 minutes. Divide remaining berries in half. Crush half the berries and then mix with yogurt, cinnamon, and honey. Serve apples with yogurt topping and extra berries sprinkled on top. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top if desired.