Lovely and easy recipe for baked Volcanic Apples – so named because as they cook, they bubble and splutter like real volcanoes.

6 medium apples
6 Tbsp soft brown sugar
6 Tbsp butter
sultanas or raisins (if you plan ahead, these can be soaked in brandy)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a handful of flaked almonds
double cream to serve

How to
Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until golden – watch them as they catch easily! Set aside.

Wash and core the apples. Make a shallow cut in the skin completely around the equator of each apple (to stop the skin splitting) and place either in individual ramekins or a large heat-proof dish.

Divide the sugar, butter, raisins and cinnamon equally between the apples and fill the centre of each fruit in layers, starting with raisins, butter, sugar and cinnamon, and repeating until full. Pack the filling in tightly, spreading the top of the apple with a little extra butter and sprinkle with a little extra sugar to caramelise.

Cover with wax paper and microwave on full power as follows: 2-3 minutes (1 apple); 3-4 minutes (2 apples); or 10-14 minutes (6 apples). If using the oven, place the fruit in an oven-proof dish, add enough water to cover the base of the dish and do not cover. Bake at 180C for approximately 45 minutes, or until the centre of each apple is cooked (test with a skewer or sharp knife).

Serve by spooning the caramelised juices over the fruit and topping with a liberal glug of double cream. Scatter the toasted almonds over the top.

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