Friday, September 19, 2014

September Is National Honey Month, “Baked Apples With Figs, Raisins, Nuts, And Honey”

“That buzzing noise means something. Now, the only reason for making a buzzing noise that I know of is because you are.. a bee! And the only reason for being a bee is to make honey. And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it!” Pooh Bear himself said this quote and it was from, “Winnie The Pooh and The Honey Tree.” Yes, honey is a sweet and gooey fluid produced by honey bees, and derived from the nectar of flowers. According to the US National Honey Board, “honey is a pure product that does not allow for the addition of any other substance…this includes, but is not limited to, water or other sweeteners.”

You must be wondering why I am talking about bees, honey, and Winnie the Pooh? That is because September is “National Honey Month,”which is why beekeepers and honey lovers are celebrating! Honey collection is an ancient activity. Humans began hunting for honey at least 8,000 years ago. In ancient Egypt and Rome, honey was used to sweeten cakes and biscuits, plus many other dishes. Ancient Egyptian people used honey for embalming their dead. The art of beekeeping in ancient China appears to be untraceable and was used not only for culinary purposes, but also for practical health uses. In 2010, China, Turkey, and the United States were the top producers of honey.

Did you know that honey is not all the same? Honey is available in many varieties! When bees visit mostly one kind of flower as they gather nectar, the honey they produce has a unique taste, aroma, and color from that particular flower. Other honeys are delicious blends of floral sources such as clover and wildflowers. There is raw honey, which contains enzymes that help digestion, several vitamins, and antioxidants.

This brings me to the medicinal uses of honey. For at least 2,700 years, honey has been used to treat a variety of ailments through topical applications. Only recently honey has been found to have antibacterial properties and an antimicrobial agent for treating a variety of ailments. Did you know that honey is used in the treatment of diabetic ulcers? Honey also prevents dressings from sticking to healing wounds. I bet that you didn’t know that honey combined with lemon is often taken orally by laryngitis sufferers, in order to soothe them? But as we all know the main uses of honey is in cooking, baking, as a spread on bread, and as an addition to various beverages, beer, and tea. 

My recipe this week is in honor of “National Honey Month,” a baked apple recipe with dried figs, raisins, nuts, and of course honey. As the weather is getting cooler and the first day of fall is right around the corner, this recipe is a perfect warm and scrumptious dessert to serve for your family. Apple season is getting into full swing, so this is a delicious way to use those crisp, juicy apples. We know that baked apples are a favorite in America, but it is also a favorite in northern Italy. Half of the Italian crop of apples comes from the Alto Adige and Trentino regions. This comfort dessert is not too hard and it makes your taste buds dance. So enjoy and have some “Honey”!

“Baked Apples With Figs, Raisins, Nuts, And Honey”

4 large Delicious or Cortland apples
5 dried figs (I use Mission / Kalamata Figs)
4 dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of honey
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, in small cubes
1/2 cup of orange juice or apple juice

Put the figs in a bowl and pour hot water over them which will allow them to soften up; let them stand for about 30 minutes. Drain the softened figs, cut off the stems and discard. Now cut figs into small pieces and place them in a bowl with the apricots, walnuts, raisins and cinnamon. Stir in the honey and coat well. This is your filling for the apples. Preheat oven to 350°. Next core apples and peel just the tops  approximately 1 inch deep, this is so the apples don’t explode and it makes a better presentation on your plate or bowl. Divide and stuff the mixture in the cored apples. Dot the apples with the butter and place them in a baking dish. Pour the orange or apple juice in the bottom of the dish. Now bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the apples are just soft enough but not collapsed. If filling begins to blacken, cover the apples with foil and continue cooking. Serve warm with some of the pan juices or a dollop of whipped cream. “Yummy in my tummy,” Winnie the Pooh would say!!!

Till Next Time…………..

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. What a delightful and healthy recipe, Dottie! If it was cooler here, I'd be popping these in the oven tonight! And I just adore Pooh Bear! My children loved him growing up, and we have even hiked in the 100 acre wood and played Poohsticks on the actual bridge where Christopher Robin played! Such lovely memories...thank you for a lovely and informative post! CC

    1. Hi Christina,
      Thanks for your comment and for visiting...It really is a good one, delicious and healthy. I can understand the heat, it is still quite warm here as well, but next week we should be cooler and back to September temps. I am so glad that I am not the only one that loves Pooh Bear. I have many Pooh bears, books, etc. Years ago my husband gave me a tea set of Winnie the Pooh. It is beautiful, I just use it for show, I am afraid to use it as I don't want to break the pieces. That must have been so much fun to hike the 100 acre wood and be on the bridge where Christopher Robin played. I am so glad that I was able to bring you back to a fabulous time with your children. They grow up so fast as you know. Have a glorious weekend...
      Dottie :)

  2. Good evening Dottie ,
    What a wonderful way to remind everyone that September is National Honey Month and no better spokesman than Pooh . I think kids of all ages love Pooh and had a Pooh teddy at one time . I had one as a kid and he went everywhere with me , he had one eye (lost it somewhere ) y kids have a Winnie the Pooh and at any given time you can fine them all on baby boy's bed ;-D . You are so right about the medical benefits and it is a must have for diabetics . I also use honey as a face cleanser and the results are remarkable . My cousin used honey for his foot ulcers , I think he suffered with them for 5 or 6 years before and he got relief in about 3 months .
    Apples is plentiful here and this recipes sounds just yummy good , What a great idea to tell everyone that if the apples start to darken to cover them with foil .... dear Dottie , that means a lot because some people think that is a natural process .
    My girls will love helping me with this one . Thanks for sharing and have a blessed weekend ~~Nee~~ ;- D

    1. Good evening Nee,
      Thank you for your lovely comment. Winnie the Pooh is my favorite as well. I have a lot of memorabilia on Pooh, actually I have a large collection of bears. I love all kinds of bears from Pandas to Paddington. Your Pooh was really a good friend to you, even lost an eye, now that is a friend for sure. Yes, my mom has diabetics and honey is better for her than sugar. Now I have never used it as a face cleanser, will have to try that one. It is amazing how one thing is so good for so many other things. Yes, Nee we are in the apple season now, and I love this time, as I love anything to do with apples. That tip with the foil is important, as that happened to me the first time I made this, so I had to share. So glad that you loved this recipe. Hope that you have a blessed weekend! Thanks for visiting...
      Dottie :)

    2. Good afternoon Dottie ,

      I had to laugh when I read your comment on the cornbread recipe .. not only did I miss the jalapenos , I missed the whole dang recipe .
      I inserted the corn relish recipe below the cornbread as stated . Thank you dear friend for calling it to my attention ;-D .
      Now you can hop over and get the rest of the recipe . Again I thank you 'Blessing' ~~Nee~~

  3. Dear Dottie, Honey is so versatile and delicious!! I did not know this is national honey month.
    These apples look wonderful and make a great dessert with a little cream or ice-cream.
    Have a lovely Sunday dear. Blessings, Catherine xo

    1. Dear Catherine, Thanks for visiting, yes I agree with you that honey is so delicious and can be used for so many things, from baking to medicinal purposes. It is so amazing to think that little bees make this luscious goodie. Yep, cream is my choice but then ice cream would be yummy too. I have to try both I guess...(giggle) This is a perfect season to be having apples. Thanks for your comment and hope that you have a blessed week ahead. Dottie :)

  4. Oh Dottie I am a true honey lover. I have it every day on my bread for breakfast and to sweeten my tea. It is easy to get addicted to it. And you can get used to a particular flavour. They are all so different.
    The life of a bee is so complex, they really are clever animals. I really love your recipe with apples, nuts, fruit and spices. Such a fab autumnal treat and healthy. Have a lovely week xxx

    1. Hi Alida, Thanks for visiting and your comment, Yes, me too a true honey lover. I use it in tea and with peanut butter sandwiches. I know sounds crazy, but you have to try it..amazing. I agree there are many varieties and they all have a different flavor, but love them all. So glad that you liked this recipe, I love these, they are awesome to eat and with the nuts, and spices what a flavor! You are correct, a great treat for fall. Have a wonderful week..Dottie :)

  5. Hi Dottie, what a beautiful and healthy dessert! Tempting too! Thanks for sharing and cheers :)

    1. Hi Ivy, Thank you for your comment and visiting...I agree it is a healthy treat and it tastes delicious too! What is better than that? Especially with the first day of Fall, a great way to warm your tummy with something yummy! Have a wonderful rest of the week, Dottie :)

  6. HI Dottie!
    What a sweet and delicious honey month post you have shared!!! Pooh must also be the ambassador of honey month, don't you think:)

    That baked apple looks delicious. It's so funny, I've often made baked apples but never once have I stuffed them with figs too. Great idea, Dottie, thank you so much for sharing...

    1. Hi Louise,
      Thanks for visiting and your lovely comment! Yes, I agree I love Pooh and he should be the ambassador of Honey Month for sure! These apples are amazing and yes the figs give it that special flavor, plus they are so good for you. It really is a healthy dessert if you look at it. So glad that you enjoyed this one, see great minds do think a lot! That is because we are both SWEET! Have a blessed rest of the week, Dottie :)