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Fire-Roasted Ginger Apples

As the first apples come to market, this dish can be a good late-summer, early-fall dessert. This recipe is adapted from Nature's Cuisine's "Sensational Smoke." If reusing a plank to grill apples after plank-roasting fish or meat on a charcoal grill, add coals to the grill and allow plank to burn off any remaining cooking juices.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped

2 tablespoons ground almonds

2 large, firm, sweet apples, halved lengthwise and cored

Thick, caramel ice-cream topping, warmed

Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, if desired

Heat grill to medium-low using indirect heat.

Pulverize almonds by hand or in a food processor.

Mix butter, sugar, ginger and almonds with a fork until well blended. Spoon filling into center of each apple half. Place apples, stuffed side up, on hot plank. Cover grill and cook until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Serve apples warm, drizzled with caramel sauce that's been heated in the microwave, and a scoop of ice cream, if desired.

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