How did that happen? This week was both short and long. Long in the sense that Wednesday at work seemed like it should have been Friday, but short in that every night when I got home from doing whatever I was doing, it seemed like I only had an hour or so to get it together before it was time for bed. Somehow my kitchen activities got away from me, so you can look forward to a lot of Baltic-inspired posts this weekend when I finally have the time to catch up.
Remember how I said it was almost fall?! Well, with Labor Day this Monday and this being the first weekend of college football madness, I hereby declare that it is, if not by date then most definitely in spirit. With fall comes apples, and with apples comes gazillion and one ways to use these juicy little buggers, and I am here, in the Lithuanian spirit, to provide another.
This recipe comes from my college friend’s sister, Carrot. Carrot and I meet up every few years at football tailgate. Through talking to her and from Facebook stalking, I learned that she is Lithuanian, and so I demanded that she provide me with some authentic Lithuanian favorites.
Being the sweetie that she is, she happily obliged, and even had a Lithuanian cookbook her great grandmother helped edit. Talk about going straight to the source!
Due to its location, the raw ingredients that come from Lithuania are those suited to colder climates such as potatoes, barley, beets and mushrooms, and heavier meats such as pork, and these simple ingredients combined with the influence of its neighbors (Russia, Eastern Europe) comprise Lithuanian cuisine. Carrot noted that many of Lithuania’s traditional dishes could be time and labor intensive, but gave me a recipe for simple baked apples that took little time at all to prepare, and, as a bonus, made my whole apartment smell like fall. Now I really don’t want to leave.
I loved the apples cooked this way. It reminded me of the baked Korean pear of yore, and the prune center was a welcome little “surprise” (even though I knew it was there). Also, because I usually “bake” my apples in the microwave, I realized that all along I’ve been missing out on the crispy crust that the oven provides. As breakfast or dessert, this recipe will surely be on repeat this fall, and for falls to come.
- 2 firm, tart apples, cored
- 2 pre-soaked or ready to eat prunes, pitted
- 2 TB honey
- sprinkle cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Places apples in an oven-proof shallow dish. Into the cavity of each apple, put two moist prunes and 1 TB honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Add water to cover the bottom of the dish, about 1/2 inch deep. Bake for 1 hour or until apples are tender.
- Serve hot or cold
- Level the bottom of the apples to help them stand upright.