Earlier I mentioned Hubby's mother's great love for and penchant for preparing baked apples. I then presented a roasted pear recipe that reminded me of how her delicious baked apples tasted. That was before I found this Baked Apple Halves with Maple Cream recipe in a recent Prevention magazine.
I have real trouble with receiving a new issue of Prevention in the mail, because I want to try every recipe that appears within its pages. That messes up my little world, because I already have my stack of "to-be-tried" recipes lying neatly atop my microwave. I have them arranged in order and have a grocery list prepared to accompany the recipes. Introducing a new one throws off my schedule of things. (I'm not very spontaneous--remember my Meyers-Briggs personality assessment that I mentioned earlier? Don't mess with my plans without giving me plenty of advance warning; unless you want to tangle with a mountain lion, don't spring something on me. Surprise birthday parties, though thoughtful gestures, are major shocks to my system and take me weeks to recover from.)
However, introducing this Baked Apple Halves with Maple Cream recipe that called out to me when I opened the pages of my new Prevention was well worth throwing myself off-kilter for a few days. What an awesome dish! Best of all, you can bake the apples for this side dish up to a day ahead, cool, and store them in the refrigerator covered. The recipe called for Ida Red apples, but the Jonathan, Jonagold, or Gala variety also will work.
You'll have a tough time deciding whether this is a salad, a veggie, or a dessert. Hubby saved a little of the reserved fruit syrup to put in a smoothie. Ditto for the leftover maple cream--literally a good-to-the-last-drop use of a wonderful recipe.
Baked Apple Halves with Maple Cream
2 large apples, halved lengthwise and cored with a melon baller
4 teaspoons trans-free margarine, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 tablespoons sugar-free maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chill small mixing bowl for preparing evaporated milk. Place apples flesh side up in square baking dish and dot with margarine. Pour orange juice and vinegar over top. Cover with foil and bake 40 to 45 minutes until apples are soft but still hold their shape. Remove apples to large plate and pour juice from dish into small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce 3 to 4 minutes until thick and syrupy. Reserve 4 tablespoons. Whip evaporated milk and maple syrup together in chilled bowl with electric mixer at high speed 3 to 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Top each baked apple half with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the maple cream and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the reserved fruit syrup. Makes four servings.