It happens every year. Almost to the date. Spring rolls around, and I look forward to the farmer’s markets starting up, ripe locally grown watermelons, lap swimming at the city pool overseen by the local high school lifeguards and Greens First Berry popsicles stashed in every corner of the freezer. But then I have a slight twinge of nostalgia for the spicy, rich foods of the fall and winter, and want one last round before I let my oven take a vacation for the summer.
If you ever feel that twinge, than you will love this recipe – chock full of all the flavors of the harvest season, with very little sugar and fat! So bake up some apples, toss one last Java Log in the fireplace, and give thanks that you can open your sliding glass door tomorrow because it is not frozen shut from the 5 feet of snow melting into its door frame (true story!)
- 9 Organic Apples (choose a tart baking variety such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith or a mixture!)
- 1/2 C. Organic Rasins
- 1/2 C. Organic Pecans
- 1/4 C. Xylitol, 2/3 C. Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp. Cinnamon 1
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg (Whole nutmeg is the most flavorful, never goes bad, and you can grate it easily with a microplane)
- 3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
- 3 tbsp. Flour (I use Organic sifted unbleached white spelt flour exclusively when I bake – it bakes up amazingly well, you can buy it in bulk at Vitamin Cottage if there is one in your area, or at your local natural foods store)
- 2 tbsp. melted Soy Free Earth Balance buttery spread (avoid margarine at all costs, and if you prefer butter, make sure it is Organic)
- 1/2 C. Rum ( don’t worry, the alcohol burns off and leaves a wonderful caramel flavor)
- 1/2 C. Water
Preheat oven to 350. Thinly slice apples and put 1/2 of them in to a 9×16 baking dish. Layer half of the raisins and pecans onto of the apples. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, whisking throughly and pour half the mixture onto the apples in the dish. Add the remaining apples, raisins and pecans and pour the rest of the sauce on top. Bake for 40 min., making sure to turn and coat the apples at least twice during cooking! Makes 6-8 servings.
**As a special treat, I like to crumble one Organic Graham Cracker on top of my bowl of apples – tastes like apple pie!