Saturday, December 17, 2016

Apple Crisp Baked Apples

Apple Crisp Baked Apples
One of our favorite desserts is old fashioned baked apples. Most of the time, I fix them very simply ‒ just a sprinkle of spices, a bit of butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup. I may serve them slightly warm, room temperature, or even cold.

A couple of weeks ago, I made blueberry crisp. I usually double the topping and keep what I haven’t used in the fridge or freezer for other applications. When I finally noticed the container of leftover topping, I decided to use it with baked apples.

I washed and cored 4 medium apples. I really dislike encountering any hard bits of apple core, so I’m very thorough about removing it all. Also, I don’t care if the filling seeps out underneath. So I get rid of the core all the way to the bottom. I first removed it with an apple corer tool and then used a small melon baller to remove all those remaining hard bits.
Stuffed and Ready to Bake
Next I peeled the top ¼ - ⅓ of each apple. This isn’t necessary, but I like the effect when baking whole apples. (If I’m dealing with really large apples, I’ll cut them in half and don’t bother peeling at all.) Before placing in a baking dish, I sprinkled each apple with some lemon juice and some Fruit Fresh to keep them from browning. Then I stuffed the leftover crisp topping into the empty cavities and sprinkled each with Penzeys Apple Pie spice blend. I poured about a ½ cup of water into the pan, and drizzled the apples with about ¼ cup maple syrup. Finally, I covered the baking pan with foil.

I baked the apples in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. I checked their doneness and basted each apple before returning to the oven. I continued baking them uncovered for another 15 - 20 minutes until done to my liking. I wanted them cooked through, tender, and slightly soft, but not mushy. I let them cool a bit and served them with the pan juices spooned on top. Leftovers were refrigerated.
Hot from the Oven
Apple Crisp Baked Apples

4 apples (If medium size, use whole; if large, cut in half)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup water
Lemon juice and/or Fruit Fresh

Filling: (There will be filling leftover; cut recipe in half, if desired)
⅔ cup brown sugar (use less if desired)
½ cup flour
½ cup oatmeal (quick or rolled)
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon or apple pie spice blend (use additional for a final sprinkle if desired)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Wash and core apples. If desired, leave enough of the core at the base of the apple to contain the filling.

Combine filling ingredients in a bowl. Lightly press enough into each apple to fill the core cavity. (Refrigerate leftover filling and use for the next batch of apples.)

Fill a baking dish with about ½ cup water or enough to cover the bottom. Place the apples upright in the dish. Sprinkle additional cinnamon or spice blend over apples, if desired, and drizzle maple syrup over all.

Bake the apples for about 30 minutes and then check, basting each apple before returning to the oven. Add more water if necessary. Bake uncovered for another 15 - 20 minutes until done to your liking. The apples should be cooked through and tender but not mushy. The filling should be slightly browned. Let the apples cool a bit before serving with the pan juices spooned on top. Refrigerate leftovers.

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