Baked Apples

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17 Oct Baked Apples

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Baked apples are very easy to make, but a challenge to photograph. If you try to take a picture while they’re piping hot and beautifully plump, the steam fogs the camera lense.

If you wait until they cool, they look like they were left on the counter for a few months. Without the wonderful aroma that wafts from these wrinkly spheres, I don’t think anyone would dig into a dessert this ugly.

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But all the talk of apples and maple syrup got me thinking.

So I carved out the core, leaving a good half-inch at the bottom of the apple, popped in a cinnamon stick (okay, okay, in this case it was a cassia stick) and filled the hollow with maple syrup.

I baked the apples at 350F, until they were soft. Note to self: Next time use only one kind of apple. By the time the Empires were done, the Mac was mush.

Anyway, the baked apples were delicious. Like sweetened apple sauce in its own crinkly little package.

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See, maple is an autumn food.

No Comments
  • Cheryl
    Posted at 12:27h, 17 October Reply

    OK, my mom was never a baker, but she did bake apples and I have a huge soft spot in my heart for these from my childhood. I don’t think I’ve ever made them for me kids, so I thank you, dearly, for the recipe. To me they really are beautiful.

    By the way, having used both Empires and Macs, which kind would you recommend more? How long did they take? Did you cover them with foil? I really would like to make these, um, today.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 14:24h, 17 October Reply

    Cheryl, ugly food is sometimes the tastiest. Glad you’re going to give these a try.

    In answer to your questions:

    Which apple you use depends on your texture preference. Macs break down into a very smooth apple-saucy texture, which I prefer. Empires tend to remain a bit more al dente (if you can use this term).

    Technically, Empires are eating apples and Macs are all-purpose, but I don’t think Empires hurt too much from baking.

    Timing depends on the apple and the size. Anything from 45 minutes to 75 usually does it.

    I bake mine uncovered, but you might be able to cut down on the baking time if you cover them for the first 20 minutes and then finish them off uncovered.

    Feel free to add a pinch of fresh nutmeg or even a touch of grated orange rind. The variations are endless.

    Let me know how it turns out. I’d love to know what apples you use, how you tweaked and the final verdict.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 14:26h, 17 October Reply

    Oh, and more more thing. Some people put apple cider in the core, or nothing.

    I tried one apple with Pomme d’Or apple liqueur and one with Maple Rush maple wine. All were good, but the maple syrup was the tastiest.

    Experiment!!

  • DEBBIE
    Posted at 14:54h, 17 October Reply

    Baked Apples! Yumm. These remind me of when I was a little girl. My grandma used to make them for my brothers and I. She would use hudge baking apples, and stuff them with a little butter, raisins and brown sugar. They were so good! What memories! Thanks bubbie.

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 17:48h, 17 October Reply

    Baked apples are one of my mom’s favourite things. In fact, she makes one in the microwave just for the heck of it sometimes.

    When I make them, I like the fill the cored out area with streusel or granola. It helps the apple hold some shape and absorbs a lot of the liquid, too.

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 18:01h, 17 October Reply

    Thanks for the tips, Charmian. I’m definitely going to make these this weekend. I’ll report back next week!!

  • jodi
    Posted at 22:44h, 17 October Reply

    You know, Charmian, all the talk about apples has really got me thinking. I don’t care for Macs as a baking apple, but then I only like them fresh off the tree. Same with Red delicious–they’re actually pretty good right off the tree. But otherwise, no.
    Honeycrisp have been around since the early-mid 90s, if my memory serves me. An apple producer and ag consultant down here learned about them out in Washington or Oregon, (I can’t find the article I wrote about them several years ago) and brought them back to NS. What I really like about them is that farmers get top, top dollar for them.

    I’m working on a post about apple cultivars and hope to have it up in a day or two. Need to go to my favourite farm market and take some photos. Meanwhile, I’m stuffing myself on Gravensteins and Galas. Burp.

  • Divawrites
    Posted at 09:08h, 18 October Reply

    I love baked apples…but I peel mine, slice them and cover them in brown sugar and cinnamon. (I’m not a big nutmeg fan…my mother always went a little crazy with the nutmeg.)
    I put them in a covered baking dish and mm mm even my picky 3 year old will eat them.
    I have been known to commit the culinary heresy of cooking them in the microwave…the house doesn’t smell as nice…but they cook, they are fast and still yummy.

    and I like Macs or Cortlands…

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 10:10h, 18 October Reply

    Dana, I like the idea of the granola, but admit to using the extra juice to pour over not-so-healthy ice cream.

    Jodi, you’re right. Honeycrisp were introduced in ’94. However, they didn’t hit wide-spread distribution until just recently. Being in “Apple Valley” you were in on them early. Lucky girl! I’m with you on the fresh Macs. Must try Gravensteins…

    Diva, interesting way to bake your apples — half way to an Apple Betty (or Apple George as my mother-in-law joking calls it). I’m sure it smells amazing, with or without the nutmeg.

  • cheryl
    Posted at 16:45h, 27 October Reply

    I finally made the baked apples this weekend. I used Romes, filled the cavities with an unmeasured amount of maple syrup, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a pat of butter. Poured a little cider in the bottom of the dish, and covered it. Baked for, I don’t know, 45 minutes? They were great. Really wonderful, and my kids loved them, too. My only regret is that I didn’t have cold cream to pour over the top. I love the contrast of the hot with the cold. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Brilynn
    Posted at 21:03h, 27 October Reply

    Maple is an any season food!

    I agree about photographing baked apples, they’re not the prettiest things ever but if only people could smell their aroma…

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 16:40h, 28 October Reply

    Brilynn, if I ever create a scratch-and-sniff blog post, I’ll test it on baked apples. Why, oh why, is the ugliest food often the most delicious or aromatic?

    Dropped by your blog and see you’re an ice cream fan, too! Baked apple ice cream could be next!

  • justeatfood
    Posted at 16:32h, 06 January Reply

    What an easy little treat! They are beautiful in their own way.

    Best,
    Emily
    http://www.justeatfood.com

  • Hillary
    Posted at 18:14h, 06 January Reply

    Your baked apples look just the way my grandma’s used to! I tried making baked apples too but they definitely did not turn out as well.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 19:46h, 06 January Reply

    Emily, I agree that they have a certain beauty, but I think a lot comes from knowing how they taste?

    Hillary, your bad apples didn’t look too bad. Thanks for sharing your less than perfect results. Glad I’m not the only one to get stumped now and again.

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