These are the apples you make
when a big bag of them shows up on your kitchen counter. The handiwork of a husband who a sucker for the ISU Horticulture department. You love him extra for his produce extravagance.
These are the apples you make when the forecast calls for rain, and you've pulled a sweater out of the back of the closet for the week ahead. When your nail polish is plum, and you wonder, “Doesn't October soften everyone?” When you fight back the envy of your neighbor's unnecessarily large scarf
If everything around you is calling for fall, why not summon a bit of cinnamon-y spirit?
You’ll mix in the butter as your daughter wonders if you can get together this weekend. “Maybe we could make some apple crisp?”
You mention nothing of your latest culinary endeavor while passing the spoon to your husband for licking
You wait not-long-enough for them to cool, then portion the best-looking one for sharing and, oh, familial portion justification
You drizzle with honey, a fresh sprinkling of cinnamon, a spoonful of ice cream on the side, then shuffle yourselves out onto your deck to enjoy in the crisp autumn air. Later, you bring some to share with your neighbors, fork in hand “Just try a cube, another, should I leave some for later?”
Your love of baked apples runs deep, and before too long you're requesting yet another bag and sharing them with everyone you know. Your apartment has never smelled better. Your family wonders if you're becoming a traveling salesman, of sorts, minus the one-time-only offer, nor the fee. You breathe in the cool fall days.
All of you know the truth: of the many available offerings, shoving oat-filled apples upon the innocent is perhaps the very best
— — —
“Let me introduce you to something that, dare I say, is better than apple crisp” you prepare to tell your daughter, as you reach for her front door, grocery bag in hand.
But she stops you mid-sentence with a small bowl of crisp, and spoon, “I wanted to surprise you. It's your recipe,” And there's pride in her eyes and excitement in her voice. You decide there isn't a worthy substitute for the joy
You both celebrate with apples
As far as baked apple recipes go, there are a lot of them out there, as I'm sure you've noticed.
My goal was something old-fashioned: just cored apples filled with oats, sugar, spices, and butter. They're baked until tender enough to eat them with a spoon, perhaps drizzled with honey, greek yogurt of ice cream on the side. A flavor and texture that leaned more toward apple crisp than the filling of an apple pie.
Riffing off of Alton Brown, these were just the thing. They baked in a roasting pan until they were soft, their skins crinkled and were shiny from the cider that bubbled beyond the hollows' borders.
They're at their peak served warm with something creamy on top or the side.
~ Adapted from Alton Brown
- 6 cooking apples (medium to large)
- 1 ½ cup apple cider
- 1 ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup brown sugar (or natural sugar)
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 Tbsp flour (any kind will be great)
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ⅓ cup honey
- Greek yogurt, creamy yogurt, or vanilla ice cream
Prep the Apples
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Remove a ½" thick slice from the top of each apple. Remove the core, stopping about ½" from the bottom of the apple. (A melon baller makes this job a lot easier)
- Arrange the apples in baking dish. (You may need to remove a thin slice from the bottom of each apple if they're having trouble standing up straight)
- Brush each apple with a tablespoon or so of apple cider
- In a medium-sized bowl combine oats, sugar, almonds, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the melted butter
- Fill the centers of the apples with oat mix, mounding slightly. Pour the remaining apple cider around the base of the apples
Bake and Serve
- Cover and bake for 50 minutes (60 minutes if your apples are big).
- Uncover and continue to bake the apples for 10-20 minutes more, depending on their size. Allow to cool slightly
- Drizzle the apples with honey before serving. Serve with yogurt or ice cream
I don’t think I’ve ever baked apples, although I am inspired to try then now. I love the way our memories of those we love and remember somehow get tied to food. That’s part of what makes food blogging special, that we are leaving a legacy of the food that we love for those who come behind us.
I love your writing, about food, about life, about whatever you want to write. Even more, I love the humanness you bring to whatever you’re writing about. As someone who’s read every post on the site, just keep at it. You create a connection that makes me warm and happy and sure there are other friends out there that make me glad to be in this world.
They look delicious. Perfect for a chilly autumn day. Our youngest (he’s 6) has started asking if he can make dinner. He calls himself a “Master Cooker” 🙂 I’ll have to give these a go with him!
It has been a while since I’ve read your posts! I love this recipe, as baked apples are one of my favorites in the Fall season. These look so amazing! I’m saving this for when we go apple picking.
There is something about a recipe that doesn’t ask for much. A recipe without pretense. And yet these apples look like perfection. Damn. I hate when it’s that easy.
These look so incredible. Baked apples scream autumn to me, they are one of those desserts that are just the ultimate comfort when the nights are getting colder.
Sounds luscious, and we just picked a load of heritage apples here in Virginia. However, having spied my first-ever bag of Meyer lemons, I am about to make your lemon almond tart, first. So many yummy things to bake!
This feels so so Autumnal, especially with the little bit of cinnamon as well. And it feels really indulgent even though it’s pretty healthy x
This is the perfect autumn warmer for when we’ve been out with the children collecting conkers in the woods
Oooh baby. The spices, the topping, the apples – this looks perfect for a fall treat. I want to eat them with a mug of black tea and watch the rain fall while reading a spooky book. But I’m sure this is ideal with all sorts of other situations.
Dear Alison – I stumbled upon your beautiful page as I was looking for a yogurt-sourdough recipe. I think I found one, but before too long I was making tea, browsing through recipe after recipe, and reading all your life stories in-between. It seemed almost rude not to leave a comment to hay hello, introduce myself, and wish you all the very best. You write exceptionally well, and I am so glad to have found your site. I’m Christelle. I’m French – living in San Diego for the better part of the last 5 years. I looove cooking, by myself and eating with others, cats, stories… so basically your page is totally my happy place! I hope to be able to follow your culinary adventures on Instagram moving forward. I’m @laceriserebelle. Wishing you every good thing 💛
Less than six hours after I pulled them out of the oven, the apples are GONE. (Don’t worry. I shared.)
Reading this has honestly made me want to make baked apples right now! I’ve actually printed out the recipe to do so. They sound delicious and look just right for now, with the weather turning so cold.
Apples are cooling on the kitchn counter. It was COLD this morning, first time I put on a sweater coat this season. So after baking the apples, I roasted brussel sprouts. And now, sweet potatoes. Soon, red onions chopped. (to mix with the sweet potatoes. If you roast them together they burn.) I tell myself I am being efficient by using the hot oven, but really I am making a spot of comfort in a cold day.
Cannot wait to taste the oat topping!!!
I love making baked apples and serving them with lashings of custard, such a delicious Autumnal treat!
I love baked apples, the cinnamon, the caramelized sugar and the lovely aroma they release when baking. I love to serve with ice cream like you said. Simply delicious.