This is really embarrassingly simple, but it is also really good. It is more a life hack, I think than a recipe, but I'm going to stop apologizing and get to the actual dish.
I decided today I should probably break up the cumin infused food run we've had so far and do something for dessert. There are just a couple of tricks here. You want to carefully scoop out the apple--making a borderline for your spoon to go in will help, and if you have a melon-baller (I do not) that will help you scoop them out as well. The key is to cut the tops off but leave the bottoms on and try not to break the shell. I have faith in you. And, if you mess it up, the easy solution is to say forget it and throw all of this in a casserole and call it a crumble.
No one will care what it really looks like, as long as they like apples and cinnamon.
4 apples of your choice. I think these were Gala apples from Aldi. Wash, cut the tops off, cutting up the good bits fine and throwing them in a mixing bowl. Scoop out the seeds first (so you don't have to try to core the other bits once you start scooping). Hollow out each apple, adding the apple flesh to a mixing bowl.
To this, add 1/4 cup fresh (that's what you see above) or dried cranberries (cherries, raisins, dates, whatever you like can go in here. If you aren't into dried fruit, nuts work too), 1/4 cup old fashioned oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir.
Now the secret ingredient: Fireball whiskey from the fine folks at Sazerac. Put in 1 Tablespoon to the filling mixture. This stuff tastes like Red Hots, folks. If you don't have the Fireball, you could simply throw cinnamon and nutmeg in if you like and a Tablespoon of whiskey, bourbon, rum, or some vanilla extract if you are on the wagon.
Stuff your apples with the mixture and put in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so until the filling and core is tender. You can see how they look when done by comparing the before and after pictures above.
See what I mean about this being loosey-goosey to the point it almost isn't a recipe?
So, to make up for that, here's my current non-dairy topping recipe. I have been fighting with various versions of cashew cream and vegan whips that take three kinds of plant based milk/nut milk, and while they all taste good, I was curious as to how simplifying things might work. If you don't want to use powdered sugar (many brands are not vegan--don't ask why sugar is not vegan. If you don't already know, you probably don't want to. If you think you want to, Google it. I already broke Stacy's heart one day in Whole Foods when she asked innocently, "Why does it say vegan sugar? Isn't all sugar vegan?" I'm not going to break yours today. Alternatively, you could Google Chocolate Covered Katie's vegan powdered sugar recipe. I just used what's in the cupboard.
Easy Cashew Cream
1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in boiling water for at least an hour.
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons of cold water
When the cashews are good and soaked, drain and rinse briefly. Throw those in your blender or food processor (Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja, whatever floats your boat), and start by whirling the drained cashews by themselves, scraping down the sides. Add the other ingredients. Whirl it up some more. You might want to start with one Tablespoon of water at a time until the consistency is what you like. Results may vary based on machine, humidity, and whether you are holding your mouth right when you blend.
Angel lives in Camden, Arkansas where she writes stuff and sometimes sends it out to other people to read. She used to grade papers, but not anymore. Check out her main site to see what she's up to lately.