Plain, Fragrant and a Simple Favorite Fruit Dessert
- Servings: 4.
Baked apples are a homey, sweet dish that can be a dessert or part of a breakfast or brunch. I am always impressed by how dinner guests will consistently prefer this simple dessert to one that is more elaborate or complex. Everyone seems to love baked apples.
In this recipe, the apples are filled with a mixture that is also used as the topping for apple crisp, adding flavor and texture to the baked apples.
- 4 Rome apples, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 cup apple juice, or apple-cranberry juice, or water mixed with 1/4 cup brown or granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick cold butter (4 tablespoons) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Remove the stems from the apples. Using an apple corer or paring knife or melon baller, scoop out the core from each apple, leaving about 1/2-inch of the apple intact at the bottom. Do not cut all the way through the apple but instead create a cavity that is about one-inch wide.
- Peel each apple half-way so that the top half of each fruit has been peeled and the bottom half remains protected.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Scatter the small cubes of cold butter on top of the dry ingredients and pulse until combined into a crumbly mixture. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Arrange the apples, peeled side up, in a glass or ceramic baking dish.
- Using a teaspoon, fill the cavity of each apple with the filling, leaving a small mound of filling at the top.
- Pour the apple juice into the baking dish. It will come up about 1/4-inch around the apples.
- Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes until tender and slightly brown.
Tip: Rome apples are a perfect choice for baking. They hold their shape while becoming tender and develop a sweet, full flavor after they've been cooked.
Tip: The topping mixture can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Any excess can also be frozen.
Tip: To make baked apples a fancier dessert, serve with a crème Anglaise sauce. In a tip learned from the great Jacques Pepin, take a pint of good vanilla ice cream and let it melt (or help it along with a microwave zap) to make an easy vanilla sauce that's close in flavor to a crème Anglaise with a fraction of the effort.