JOSHUA'S BAKED APPLES

This recipe was created by Joshua DeGroot, pastry chef at Michela's in Cambridge, Mass. It's a good gourmet dessert for kids and adults to do together.8 Cortland apples, cored (save cores) FILLING: 1/2 cup brown sugar Zest of one lemon 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon Good pinch each of ginger, cardamom (optional), and nutmeg 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or other nuts

TOPPING: 4 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup water mixed with 1/4 cup maple syrup

PASTRY: 1/2 cup butter 3 sheets of filo dough per apple, cut into 10-inch- by 10-inch squares 1/2 cup of your favorite cookie crumbs or cake crumbs

SAUCE: 2 tablespoons of butter 3 tablespoons maple syrup Apple cores 1/4 cup cider 1/4 cup cream

For apples: Mix filling ingredients together. Fill the inside of each apple with the mixture. Top each apple with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Set the apples in a baking pan. Pour the water-maple syrup liquid on and around the apples. Bake in pre-heated 375 degree F. oven for 15 minutes until soft, but not mushy. Baste with syrup. Cool. For pastry: Melt butter. Take one sheet of filo and brush with melted butter. Take a second sheet and lay it on top of the first. Brush that one with melted butter. Place a third sheet on top of the second sheet. Brush with melted butter. In the center, spread 1 tablespoon of cookie crumbs. (Note: If using frozen filo dough, be sure to follow directions on defrosting and handling dough; it may take overnight.) Place a baked apple in the center of the three layers of filo. Gently lift the filo up and around the apple. Create a little package by tying the filo around the top of the apple with a twisted piece of aluminum foil. Bake at 425 degrees F. until filo is lightly browned (about 5 minutes). For sauce: Combine butter and maple syrup in saucepan. Add apple cores; cook over medium heat until caramelized. Add cider and cream. Cook for 2 minutes and strain. Drizzle the sauce over the baked apples. Serve. Serves 8.

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