It feels so funny when I hear that earlier desserts were sweetened with tons of dry fruits, because sugar was a luxury product; while dried fruit wasn’t. Now the tables have turned once again. We as consumers are going towards the healthier dried fruits, condemning sugar to be the white devil. We are increasingly looking out for options to incorporate fresh unrefined ingredients. And that quest has taken me back to that era, which boasted of fresh, simple and rustic farm food.
I don’t in any way mean to degrade sugar into the category of enemy food. It is an important part of our being, but it’s not meant for every meal. Using it to the minimum and trying to replace refined white sugar with a healthier natural option like honey or jaggery or brown sugar is a good way forward. Plus, the tropical fruits we consume daily have a healthy dose of fructose. Given our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, we don’t need anything in addition to that for our well being.
This recipe is about my journey to find that perfect balance of sweetness from fresh and dried fruits, to make an enviably rustic dessert, with a twist. It is my Baked Apples with Fig and Cinnamon, served with sweetened thick yoghurt dressing!!
2 large apples (try using the juicy pink variety, commonly known as Chinese apples)
3 dried figs
1 tsp of cinnamon (I love lots of cinnamon with apples, but if you don’t like the flavour so much, then adjust it accordingly)
1 ½ tbsp of chopped walnuts
1 tsp honey
½ cup hung curd
Some oil to brush the cooking dish
Cut the top side of apples like a cap and set it aside.
Core the apples and remove the seed from the centre. Try not to pierce through the flesh while doing so.
Now in a small bowl, chop the figs and combine it with walnuts and cinnamon.
Let the apples stand straight out on an oiled microwaveable glass bowl and stuff the centre with the fig mixture. Shove in as much of the filling, as possible. Make a clean horizontal skin deep slash around the apple, to stop the skin from wrinkling in the heat.
Now place the caps on top of the apples and microwave it on high (600-700 watts) for 5 minutes, till a butter knife goes in without any resistance. Cook these apples till tender.
For the hung curd dressing, whisk the hung curd with a bit of cinnamon, salt and honey, till u get a creamy texture. In an optional step, add some roasted walnuts to the dressing for an additional crunch.
Serve the dressing on the side with the baked apples.
As promised, a fresh, simple and rustic express-dessert. Cheers!!