Cooking apples contain useful amounts of dietary fiber and Vitamin C. Apples are extremely rich in antioxidants that help to protect our cells from free radical damage caused by factors such as pollution and UV rays. Cooking apples can be cooked or eaten raw. Apple are an extremely popular and versatile fruit with many varieties suited to growing conditions in various climates.

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Baked Apples

Serve 4 people
• 4 Teaspoons Irish Butter
• 4 Large Cooking Apples
• 2 Bay Leaves, Dried or Fresh
• 2 Whole Cloves
• 2 Tablespoons Flaked Almonds
• 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
• 75g Raisins
• 1 Orange
• 1 Lemon
• 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
• 1 Tbsp Chopped Mint

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
2. Using an apple corer remove the cores from your apples – remember you can use the cores to ferment into great apple vinegar.
3. Place the apples in a baking dish. If using dried bay leaves crumble them into little pieces; if using fresh leaves you will need to finely chop them.
4. Put into a large bowl with of the almonds. Add the sugar, raisins, grate in the zest of the orange and lemon, then add the cinnamon or mixed spice and butter.
5. Using your hands, mix all the flavours into the butter. Stuff this mixture into the hole in each apple and rub the outside of each fruit with some of the leftover mixture.
6. Toss the remaining almonds in the bowl so they become lightly coated in any leftover juices, then sprinkle over the top of the apples.
7. Place in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden and soft.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down for about 5 minutes before serving. Put each apple into a small bowl and spoon over the lovely caramelized juices from the pan.