Blackberry Baked Apples
There is nothing new in the combination of apples and blackberries. They are two fruits which go perfectly together and when they are cooked together like this, they are just so much more than the sum of their parts. All that and low fat, gluten free, low calorie and healthy too! This is so simple that it can hardly be called a recipe, but just in case there is someone out there who has never thought of doing this, here it is.
- Organic eating apples (as many as are required). Eating apples will hold together better in the oven. I say organic, because apples belong in the ‘Dirty Fifteen’ of the fruit and veg which are most affected by pesticide spraying and you don’t want to be ingesting pesticides with your pud, now do you? Besides, organic taste a lot better too.
- A bowl of blackberries (freshly picked for preference, but shop bought are fine too)
- Two-three dessert-spoonsful of unrefined soft brown sugar. I used this because I think the taste of it really adds something to the dish but feel free to substitute – maple syrup would work well, coconut sugar, or whatever you have really
- A good splash of apple juice – though water would do in a pinch
- Start by scoring a line around the circumference of the apple (as shown in the photograph) – this will stop it from exploding in the oven
- Sprinkle the sugar (or whatever) over the berries and mix them through. A lot will depend on the sweetness of the berries and on the type of apple you are using so be judicious – you don’t want it too sweet
- Core the apples the stuff as many blackberries down the centre of the apple as you can possibly get in. Push really hard, squashing the berries as you go. You may want to use a spoon for this or your finger may be irredeemably stained purple for a day or two. When you can’t get any more in there, place an extra one or two on the top to look pretty
- Place in your ovenproof dish and pour a little apple juice in the bottom of it. It’s hard to be specific on the amount but a little less than half a centimetre
- Put in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees C or a low – medium gas oven and bake until they look done and the apples are soft to the point of a knife. This should take at least 30 minutes or longer depending on how many you put in there. Don’t be tempted to turn the oven up any higher as you don’t want the berries on the top to burn or the apple juice to weld itself onto the plate
What you should end up with is beautifully soft apples still with a slight bite, flavoured with the wonderful berries and a touch of sweetness. The sauce in the bottom will be gloriously purply-red and slightly gelatinised by the pectin from the apple. It’s heaven – trust me. It goes brilliantly well with a little soy yoghurt or a coconut milk icecream would also be fabulous. Autumn in a bowl!!