Boozy Baked Apple Recipe for a Healthy Holiday Dessert

Last month I arrived at my pal Zoe’s house exhausted. That day I’d completed the 6 hour drive to the Bay Area from Los Angeles, then hadn’t stopped a beat before hosting the San Francisco launch party for Sage Living. Zoe had generously offered to put me up for the night, and I couldn’t wait to hit the mattress in her guest room. When I stepped into her home, however, I was greeted not only by Zoe but by our mutual friends Amy and Timothy—and also by the mouthwatering smell of butter, spice, and sweet fruit. “I made you a baked apple!” Amy announced as the trio ushered me to the table. They then proceeded to sit me down, entertain me for hours with laughter and conversation, and feed me the most satisfying healthy dessert I’ve ever had. They then packed me off to bed where I slept like a baby til morning.

boozy baked apples recipe for a healthy holiday dessert that tastes just like apple pie!

When I asked Amy for the how-to on these divine baked apples, I wasn’t surprised when she told me it was something she whipped up off the top of her head. You see, Amy is the head chef and founder of both Venus Restaurant and Revival Bar + Kitchen, two celebrated Berkeley restaurants known for their commitment to sustainable yet sumptuous cuisine. She was more than happy, though, to refine the recipe and share it with us! Thus, I present to you the perfect alternative to all the sugary goodies you’re sure to encounter this holiday season. These warm, gooey treats taste so much like apple pie that you won’t miss the crust for a second—and you’ll leave the table feeling happy, not heavy. Serve them to friends, family, and especially to weary travelers. They’ll thank you for sure!

Boozy Baked Apples (serves 4)
Recipe courtesy of Amy Murray, Head Chef at Venus Restaurant and Revival Bar + Kitchen
4 apples hollowed out with a corer (Rome Beauty, Cortland, or Fuji are best)
3 T slivered, toasted almonds or walnuts
1/3 cup dried prunes, chopped small
2 T honey
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cardamom
pinch clove
pinch nutmeg
2 pinches salt
zest of one meyer lemon
zest of one mandarin
1 T lemon juice
1 T orange juice
2 T soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup sparkling wine or apple cider for baking
Mix nuts, prunes, honey and all spices and citrus with the butter. Stuff into apples.  Arrange apples in pan, not touching. Pour apple cider into bottom of baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Cover apples loosely with foil and bake another 25-35 minutes, or until apples are soft to the touch but not busting their skins. Serve with whipped coconut cream or your choice of dairy. Yum!