Rise 'n Shine

There's nothing quiet as lovely as the aroma of baked apples floating through the house on a chilly morning. If you add some toasted cinnamon raisin bread and mugs of coffee and glasses of orange juice, bliss can be maintained in the comfort of a cozy breakfast nook or wrapped in a soft blanket on the bed.

The key to making this breakfast perfect is planning ahead. Before you go to sleep, simply core a couple of apples, tuck some of your favorite varieties of dried fruit in with them and sprinkle it all with some tasty flavor enhancers! Then, cover it with foil, refrigerate it, and enjoy some pleasant dreams until morning arrives. When morning beckons, all you need to do is pop it in the oven for a while. It's that simple -- if you plan ahead.

In fact, if you can coax someone else into popping this simple dish into the oven and fetching the Sunday paper for you, you can manage to snag a comfortable breakfast in bed. With good food and the comics to keep you smiling, you might just consider staying there until spring really decides to visit!

Baked Apples with Dried Fruit

  • 2 medium-sized baking apples (I prefer Macintosh)
  • 1 c. assorted dried fruit (I used apricots, prunes, pears and apples)
  • 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Core the apples (do not peel) and place them in a glass bread loaf pan. Arrange the dried fruit around the apples. Sprinkle the pan with the orange rind, extract, lemon juice and water. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples and fruit. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, place the covered pan in a 350 degree oven and bake until the apples are tender -- about 50 minutes.

To serve, spoon an apple into a bowl and spoon the dried fruit and juices over it. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: about an hour, plus overnight chilling