Sunday, November 05, 2017

These Apples

Our time with my younger brother and his family was relaxing and a nice change since, with the exception of mass family gatherings for birthdays and funerals (mostly), we have not spent time with the four of them and no other family.

Kate is a great cook and she made great, fresh, healthy food for us. One of the few things I made in her great kitchen was baked apples. No photos were taken because we were immersed in conversation and laughter, but I made baked apples again today, so I can share the recipe with you.

This is a really easy way to enjoy apples and this is apple season, so go big! Choose your favorite baking apple. I used Jonagolds but Cortlands and Galas work well, so do Pippins and Breaburns. The apple should have a nice apple flavor and hold some of its shape after baking. Gravensteins, for instance, would break down too much and be more like apple sauce. Many farmers markets have a selection of apples these days and you can ask which one would be best for baking.

If you like apple pie, but don't want the added fat and calories of the crust, these apples are for you.

Sweet and Spicy Baked Apples 
makes two, but can be doubled

2 medium to large baking apples, washed
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
4 pitted dates, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the core and seeds from the center of each apple, being sure to leave some apple intact at the bottom. I used a paring knife to remove the stem end, about halfway into the apple, then used a melon ball tool to remove the rest of the seeds. I left the apple below the seeds intact. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, walnuts and dates. Place each apple in a small baking dish large enough to hold it. I used two sizes of ramekins. If you are doing four apples, you might find an 8" square cake pan works. It's OK to have some room between apples, but they get soft, so you only should allow about 1/2 inch maximum between apples. Individual bakers solve that as long as they aren't too big or small. Experiment with what baking dishes you have before you fill the apples.

Place the cored apples in their baking dish(es) and fill the cavity with the brown sugar/spice mixture. Once they are filled, sprinkle any left over into the bottom of the baking dish(es). Put 1 teaspoon butter or margarine on top of the filled core cavity.  Add the water (I used 1/4 cup for each apple in it's individual dish) to the bottom of the dish, and then cover tightly with aluminum foil. Cut a small slit in the foil to let steam escape.

Place the dish(es) containing the apples on a baking sheet, then bake in the preheated over for 40 minutes, or until tender when pierced.

Serve warm or cold (with a splash of cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired).

No comments :

Post a Comment