|1/2 cup chopped pitted dates||1 tsp ground cinnamon|
|1/2 cup chopped dried apricots||Pinch of ground cloves|
|1 tbsp pomegranate molasses||1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg|
|3 tbsp honey||6 large, firm apples, cored,|
|3/4 cup port, divided||preferably Pink Lady or Rome Beauty|
|1 large egg white|
|Pinch of salt|
|3 tbsp sugar|
Note: Apples can be baked 4 hours ahead and kept loosely covered
1. Preheat oven to 300F
2. Pulse dates and apricots in a food processor 10 to 12 times, until fruits are chopped and clumping together. You don’t want them to form a smooth paste. Transfer fruit to a bowl and stir in pomegranate molasses, 1/4 cup of the port, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
3. Stuff mixture into cored apples. You should have enough stuffing to generously stuff apples and have some stuffing “pop” out of top of apples.
4. Place apples in a baking dish and pour remaining 1/2 cup port around apples. Bake apples until they are soft and fairly wrinkly, 30 to 45 minutes. Occasionally, spoon some of the port and juices onto the apples so they do not dry out.
The apples can be baked 2 days ahead; the meringue, 1 day ahead.
Meringue topping Preparation:
Beat egg white with a pinch of salt in a deep bowl using an electric mixer at medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, beating until white holds stiff, glossy peaks.
Place a dollop of meringue (or pipe) on each apple half and broil 30 seconds. Turn off broiler and leave in oven just until tips of meringue are browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute (watch carefully).
1. This dessert is great made with peaches or nectarines instead of apples. Bake till they soften, then proceed with meringue topping.
2. Instead of the apricot-date stuffing, fill cavity of peaches or nectarines with jam, and proceed with the meringue topping.
3. You can also use canned peach halves or pear halves, in which case you need only fill and top with the meringue.