Popping in really quickly today to share the recipe for this holiday table dessert contender – baked apples! These babies are fun to make and on the healthier side as far as desserts go, but still so satisfying and festive. They are taken up to that next level with the pockets of poppyseed dukkah cozied up inside each apple, as well as a crucial drizzle of homemade coconut caramel :D
I first had the idea to make sweet dukkah (Egyptian spice and nut/seed mix, aka a condiment from heaven) a few years ago, when I wrapped it up in these Sweet Dukkah Cigars (which is another great dessert for coffee or tea time after a holiday meal). I do a mixture of walnuts and hazelnuts, sesame seeds, poppyseeds, aromatic spices, and dates. I especially love the combination of poppyseeds and caramel, so I upped them in this particular sweet dukkah recipe.
The result: delicate, warm apples with a pleasant amount of fall-appropriate spice and crunch from the dukkah and delicate sweetness from the mandatory drizzle of coconut caramel. Some vanilla ice cream would be great on the side as well! Hope you enjoy these :)
- 6 small honeycrisp apples
- juice from ½ lemon
- poppyseed dukkah (recipe below)
- 1½ cup apple cider
- rosemary, thyme or other aromatic herbs for infusing the cider (optional)
- olive oil - for drizzling
- coconut sugar - for sprinkling
- coconut caramel (recipe linked)
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts or walnuts, or a mix of both
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 3 green cardamom pods – crushed in mortar and pestle, green shells removed
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 soft dates – pitted and chopped
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
- Cut the top off each apple (refer to photos) and set aside. Carefully core the apples using a small knife or apple corer and drizzle the lemon juice over them.
- Generously stuff the apples with dukkah, piling it over the top. Close the apples with the apple tops and transfer the apples into a rimmed baking dish.
- Pour the apple cider over the apples and add the aromatic herbs to the bottom of the dish, where the cider accumulates, if using. Drizzle the apples with olive oil and sprinkle with coconut sugar. Bake for about 1 hour, until soft throughout, drizzling with the baking liquid every 15 minutes. Take care not to overbake the apples, as they might start coming apart at the seams.
- Let the apples cool just a bit and serve drizzled with the coconut caramel and sprinkled with more dukkah. A scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt either :)
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Spread hazelnuts/walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Add sesame and poppy seeds and continue to toast for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Toast the cardamom and coriander seeds in a pan over medium heat until fragrant, for about a minute or so. Finely grind in a mortar and pestle.
- Add the hazelnuts/walnuts to a bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the sesame and poppy seeds, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, dates and salt to the food processor. Pulse to combine to the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.