|Autumn Harvest - recipe for Baked Apples in post|
Autumn has fallen here in Michigan, and 'round these parts that means apples. At least, most years it does... this year many of the crops were damaged by the dry heat we had during the summer, but that didn't stop me from searching high and low for the last of the local harvest.
Of course, Autumn also means pumpkins - and trust me when I say I have pumpkin recipes to come - but I couldn't let the gourd steal the show.
There's something about apples that just make my heart sing. There are dozens of other fruits I might name before them, but deep down I rank apples as one of my favorites. Nothing beats the smell of a fresh, ripe apple pressed to your nose... except, perhaps, the smell of apples baking away with brown sugar and cinnamon.
|Simple Baked Apples - recipe in post|
This is also one of the easiest dessert you'll ever make - no fuss, no fancy technique, no dough rolling or crust making - but it tastes just like apple pie. Single serving, guilt-free, done in half an hour apple pie. My favorite kind!
I like to add a few chopped pecans to my apples, but if you wanted to get really fancy you could top each with a lattice of crust, or a bit of crumb topping, if cobbler is more your style. A scoop of cold ice cream melting over the hot-from-the-oven apple, and you're well on your way to taste-bud heaven!
Easy Baked Apples
Gluten-Free, easily made Vegan
Makes 6 servings
6 medium apples (a sweet eating variety, like Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, etc.)
1-2 TBSP butter, or dairy-free margarine (1/2-1 tsp. per apple)
2 TBSP maple syrup or brown sugar (1 tsp. per apple)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (1/4 tsp. per apple)
2-3 TBSP chopped pecans or walnuts - optional
Small pinch of nutmeg, cloves, or ginger - optional
Ice cream, or dairy-free ice cream, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 375f.
Using a small pairing knife or a grapefruit spoon, cut down around the stem of the apple at a slight angle, to remove the stem and seeds. Be careful not to cut all the way through the apple. Repeat with all of the apples and place them in a glass baking dish. For six apples, I used a 9x12 inch dish.
2. Place a small pat of butter, about 1/2-1 tsp., into each hollowed out apple. If you're using pecans or walnuts, add them now (if you add them on top of the other ingredients they may get burnt during baking). Add about 1 tsp. maple syrup or brown sugar to each apple, and then the cinnamon. If you're using any other spices, add them now.
3. Place baking dish on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 25-35 minutes. The time will vary depending on the size of your apples, and how soft you want them. I like to bake mine until fork tender.
4. Remove from the oven, and serve hot with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.