Baked apple dessert

Carolyn Herriot launches new zero-mile diet cooking series with a baked apple dessert recipe perfect for the holidays.

Credit: Carolyn Herriot

Carolyn Herriot launches new zero-mile diet cooking series with a baked apple dessert recipe perfect for the holidays and a CONTEST

As many of you will know from my regular column in GardenWise magazine and also from my new book, The Zero-Mile Diet: A Year-Round Guide to Growing Organic Food, a “zero-mile diet” means eating food grown in your backyard or very close to home. It’s about really fresh food with flavour that leaves your taste buds tingling – food just the way nature intended it.

Now that so many gardeners are growing edibles again there has been a resurgence in cooking, probably because so many people are asking, ‘What do I do with all this food?’

CONTEST: Enter your recipes

I’d like to invite you to share your favourite zero-mile recipe with me. If I include it in my new book, you’ll be entered in a draw for one of six copies, and your recipe has a very good chance of being published in the Winter issue of GardenWise.

Email your recipe contributions to my editor, Carol Pope. I look forward to hearing from you! (Contest deadline March 31, 2011)

I never dreamed that I’d be writing a cookbook one day, but here I am cooking up flavoursome ways to prepare nutritious food fast for The Zero-Mile Diet Cookbook, which I plan to have out by the end of this coming year. 

I’m going to be sharing recipes with you in my GardenWise columns in the months ahead – and I’ll also pass some to you here in my blog, so do keep checking in!

Recipe: Baked Apple Dessert

This fast and delicious dessert takes only 15 minutes to prepare and is worth every minute. It’s delicious hot or cold, so cook extra for holiday treats. If you are lucky enough to own an apple peeler (like this one from Lee Valley), you can whip up several times this recipe in no time at all!

First, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

4 large cooking apples cored, peeled and sliced into circles 1/2 in. (1 cm) thick.
In a 9-in. (23-cm) square baking dish, rebuild your apples by stacking up the slices.

Next, make up the paste:

1/2 cup (125 mL) dried fruit (cranberries, raisins and sultanas work well)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sliced almonds (or chopped walnuts)
1/4 cup (60 mL) panela or best brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter cut into chunks

Using your fingers, blend all the above together into a smooth paste. Stuff the cavity in the centre of the apple stacks. Pour 1/2 cup (125 mL) water around the apples, and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, with the heat reduced to 350°F (177°C), until the apples are soft.

Serve warm with Greek yoghurt or whipped cream.