Around here, we love apple everything. Each year, I can applesauce, make dried apple rings, fill the freezer with apple pie filling...and of course we eat lots of plain, fresh apples - or apple slices slathered in peanut butter. But, for some reason, until recently, I'd never made my children an apple classic: Baked apples.
This old fashioned recipe is so simple, and so much healthier than most other desserts. But I didn't grow up eating it. In fact, I'd never even heard of baked apples until I was in my early 20s and a doctor put my mom on a special diet. Baked apples were on her short list for desserts. We hated most of the recipes her doctor gave her. But baked apples? That dish was a keeper!
People have been baking apples for hundreds of years, and there are about a bazillion ways to make baked apples, but I tend to stick with this simple recipe. It takes only four or five minutes to prepare and has great flavor.
Old Fashioned Baked Apple Recipe
4 apples (Pippin, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold are considered great for baking, but experiment to discover what type of apple you like best! For this post, I used apples from our orchard; I have no idea what variety they are, but they are yummy!)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using an apple corer or a knife, remove the core from the apple. The dessert will be less messy if you leave the bottom (blossom end) of the apple in tact, but it's not the end of the world if you remove the entire core, as I did.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Fold in the nuts.
3. Place the apples in a baking dish and spoon the nut mixture inside each apple. Pour the water into the baking dish and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the apples can easily be pierced with a fork.
4. Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow apples to cool in it. Serve warm. If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream.
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