Lavender Honey Baked Apples

Autumn is here again. Lovely, long lazy days. Indian Summer we call it in the north. The sun bathes us in a warm yellow light. The trees have donned their most beautiful dress for one last dance before the winter comes upon us. We marvel at their beauty - orange and brown, red and yellow leaves - until the fall winds pluck their rich finery away and carry them off, swirling round our feet, scattered over our yards, entangled in our gardens. Red leaved fruit trees, rosehips the size of nickels, windfall apples. Oh my - this is a Northern autumn!

It is the most beautiful time of the year for me - for many of us. As fall sweeps over the land it brings back childhood memories of .... apples. Some of my favorite deserts are made with apples. Everyone has a favorite - mine - Macintosh. Hands down. There is no other apple in my narrow little world. I like many but love only one .... the lovely sweet and sour taste is perfect for eating out of hand and for cooking. I love the soft lovely texture but some find it to soft. You should use your own favorite apple though most types will require a few minutes longer baking time then our soft fleshed Macintosh.   

One of the deserts my mother made us frequently was baked apples. We never tired of them. I recently rediscovered them once again and here is my recipe for them - a new take on an old favorite.  Frankly, if you choose an apple you like and a honey you like it is impossible to go wrong. If the apple has little sour tang (such as Golden Delicous) I would add a bit more lemon juice to it the filling.

Lavender Honey Baked Apples

Preheat oven to 375 farenheit

4 large Macintosh apples
4 tbsp butter
2 heaping tbsp brown sugar (I like Demerara)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp lemon juice
2 heaping tbsp raisins
2 heaping tbsp chopped walnuts

1 cup water
2 Tbsp lavender honey (or any honey you like the flavor of)
4 tsp sugar

Mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, raisins and walnuts.  Core apples down to 1/2 inch from bottom of apple. Peel away first 3/4 inch of peel from top of apple. Fill each hollow with 1/4 of the filling and place in a small casserole dish. 
Pour the water around the apples. Add the lavender honey and sugar to the water in dish and stir about a bit.
Bake uncovered about 25 - 30 mins until tender. Add another 5 - 10 minutes if you used a harder apple. Serve warm with the lavender honey syrup spooned over. Serve straight up or with and scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like.

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