The appeal of apples
Apples don’t have to be served overly sweet, or creamy, or cakey. Sometimes they can just be themselves: fruity and flavorful. Baked apples are so easy to make and chance are you have the ingredients on hand.
I made my first baked apples using the Joy of Cooking, that I had gotten for a wedding gift in the 50s. The recipe seemed a lot like what my mother made, so I stuck with it over the years. But recently I’ve added rolled oats, (not instant), or granola and nuts for a crunchier texture. I use big Honeycrisp apples—but a Rome, Braeburn, Jonagold, or Granny Smith will work fine.
The direction here allow for tailoring the dish to your taste. Really, you don’t need a recipe at all, just a few basic guidelines, or watch this quick video. Even so, I’ve included a recipe below.
- 4 apples, (Jonagold, Fuji, Rome, Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Mueslix or rolled oats (not instant)
- 2 Tbs. flour
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 4 Tbs. butter
- 1 cup apple juice, cider, or water
Optional extras: Orange zest, lemon zest, raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped nuts.
Preheat oven to 425°. Remove the core of the apples, cutting to within a half-inch of the bottom of the apple and creating a well about 1-inch wide. (Use a melon baller or paring knife.)
Mix the brown sugar, Mueslix or oatmeal, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chilled butter cut into small pieces. Divide this mixture between the apples, packing the wells firmly.
Arrange the apples in a baking dish, like an 8×8-inch Pyrex dish. Pour the juice or water into the bottom of the dish and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Bake for 30 minutes and remove foil. Continue baking uncovered until the apples are soft and the brown sugar has melted into a syrup, an additional 20 minutes. You can test the apples by poking a paring knife through the oatmeal mixture and into the interior of the apple; it should slide into the apple easily without resistance. The skin on the apples will also become wrinkled and soft when done.
Serve with: Ice cream, crème fraiche, whipped cream, Cool Whip or yogurt sweetened with honey.