Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baked Apples

It's freezing in New York.

Baked apples just sounded good. 

I was going to take a picture but we ate them too fast. Here is the one surviving apple, maybe it will be spared and eaten with cheese or maybe I'll have to subject it to butter, sugar and 350 degrees like the others, mmmmm.

Many meals begin with a phone call to my mother. What temperature should I roast a chicken at? Can you give me the flaky pie crust recipe one more time?  Last night it was, How do you make those baked apples? Very often when I cook, it's the flavors I remember from my childhood that I want to recreate and my mom has all the answers. 

Baked apples are wonderful little deserts that satisfy the way apple pie does and you can make one, two or as many as you can eat at a time. This recipe is inspired by a recipe for Stuffed Apples from A Feast for All Seasons by Roy Andries de Groot, Knopf 1966.

Baked Apples

2 baking apples 
unsalted butter 
brown sugar
maple syrup
whole wheat bread

Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350. Core the apples but not all the way through, you want to make little wells. Peel the skin around the opening to the apple. Then press equal parts butter and brown sugar into the apples alternating butter and sugar. Trim the crusts off the bread and cut each slice into a large circle for the apples to sit on. Butter both sides of the bread and put them in the bottom of a baking dish. I use an oven-safe glass baking dish. Place the apples on top of the bread and baste the apples with maple syrup. Place the apples in the oven. If you're using a toaster oven you'll want to put aluminum foil on top so the apples don't burn. Cook for forty minutes or until the apples are tender and the butter and sugar has bubbled over, basting the apples every 5-10 minutes with more maple syrup. I like to make sure I it get on the bread. When the apples are ready the bread will be caramelized and the apples should melt in your mouth. Heaven. But give them a minute to cool. My husband burned his lip on some hot butter.

*A note on the ingredients. Always use the real thing and always use the best quality you can find. Farmers markets are great places to get apples and they will be able to help you find good baking apples. The butter should be from grass fed cows, the sugar organic, the maple syrup grade A dark amber and visit a local bakery for your bread. Last night I used some day old whole wheat sourdough bread and it was delicious.

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