Simple or Snazzy: Baked Apples, Two Ways

Well team, now that there are nearly as many leaves down on the ground as there are up in the trees, I feel like I can legitimately start talking about fall food. And today, I’m sharing one of my childhood cool-weather favourites: baked apples.

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The idea is simple: a crisp, tart apple is stuffed with a mixture of sugar, butter, cinnamon and other tasty things, and baked until the fruit is tender and infused with molten, bubbling, buttery, delicious goo

They’re also simple to throw together and relatively (relatively) healthy, though they’d never seem it to a kid. Which may be the reason my parents made them so often for my sister and me. 

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But then again, they always served them to us with a big scoop of ice cream, so maybe it wasn’t the healthy thing after all. Maybe it was to keep the two of us, impressive arguers in our youth, quiet for just a little longer. Which seems like a stretch, I know, but these are my clever parents, inventors of our once-favourite road trip activity, the “Who Can Be The Quietest? Game”. I kid you not.  

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Childhood mysteries aside, baked apples are super-tasty - you should give them a try! I’m passing along two recipes: one for the classic butter, brown sugar and cinnamon baked apples I ate as a kid, and another for a filling variation (packed with orange zest, nutmeg, pecans and more!) that I’d eat anytime. But don’t be afraid to get creative and invent some delicious, silence-inducing apples of your own. Happy baking! 
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Simple - Classic! - Baked Apples
Inspired by allrecipes.com (which, according to my mom, is identical to the way my grandmother used to make them - neat, no?)
Makes 4 baked apples 

Ingredients
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cold butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Make a well in the centre of the apple by scooping out the core, but leaving about a 1/2-inch intact at the bottom of the apple (so the filling doesn’t leak out).* In a small bowl, mix together sugar, butter and cinnamon until crumbly. Divide sugar mixture equally between apples, pressing mixture into the wells until they’re full. Place apples in a baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until they reach desired tenderness. Let cool for a few minutes before serving (with ice cream!). 

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 *I did this by cutting around the core - but not all the way through the apple - and then using the handle of a spoon to scoop the majority of the core out. 
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Snazzy Baked Apple Filling Variation
Note: to make snazzy, spicey baked apples, all you’ve got to do is substitute in the filling recipe below for the filling used in the recipe above. All the other steps - the coring, baking time, etc. - are the same! 
Inspired by allrecipes.com
Makes 4 baked apples

Ingredients
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Directions
In a small bowl, mix together sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and zest until crumbly. Stir in raisins and pecans until evenly distributed through mixture. Use in place of sugar-butter-cinnamon mixture in the recipe above. 

Upload from September 27, 2011

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