Carla Hall’s Baked Apples with Granola will be an instant crowd pleaser!
3 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup apricot preserves (plus 2 tablespoons water)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 cup mixed dried fruit chopped (cherries, apricots, golden raisins, and/or prunes)
4 apples (such as Empire or McIntosh)
4 tablespoons butter (melted)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider
vanilla ice cream (for serving)
Preheat oven to 325ºF and place rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together the apricot preserves and water in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, oil, vanilla extract and the preserves.
Drizzle the apricot mixture over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be)
Place on a wire rack to cool. Break up any large clumps while the mixture is still warm. Stir in dried fruit. The granola will crisp as it cools.
For the Baked Apples: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Remove stem from the apples. Using a spoon, core the apples leaving the bottom intact. Slice the apples into 8 wedges once again leaving the bottom intact. Place the apples in the prepared baking dish.
In a bowl, add the butter, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Stir to combine. Divide the mixture between the four apples. Pour the cider into the base of the the prepared pan. Cover the apples with foil and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the apples are tender. Top each apple with 3 tablespoons of cooked granola and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Tip: Once granola has cooled, store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. Keeps for several weeks.