Another fairly healthy fall treat: Spiced Baked Apples spiced with cinnamon, sweetened with brown sugar and filled with walnuts and chocolate chips.
I really wanted to put this post up yesterday (or this morning for most American time zones), but for the first time in 12 months of traveling around SE Asia, the internet connection was soo bad that it prevented me from blogging last night. I had everything ready to go, but then WordPress (among many other sites) just wouldn't load anymore. So here is my belated Monday post (on Tuesday for me):
It is hard to believe that October is already coming to an end and there are still no leaves falling or turning their colors in tropical Southeast Asia.
Getting Into the Fall Mood the Baked Apples Way
If it depended on changes in nature to get me into fall mood, I would unfortunately be waiting in vain. But luckily, all it takes for me is some good ol' fall baking and the scent of cinnamon in the air. This super-simple pumpkin cake or these scrumptious caramel apple cupcakes certainly did the trick for me.
However, I don't even have to depend on my own baking for this. Just last week, my husband and I were happily surprised to find pumpkin loaf on the dessert menu of an Italian restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Although it was tropically modified by being served with fresh mango, still my taste buds were rejoicing in colorful autumn tunes.
But how about a baked fall treat that doesn't even require flour? I am speaking of baked apples. They are so easily prepared and spiced with cinnamon and brown sugar they are guaranteed to spread happy fall aromas and tastes. Especially for us who do not have the chance to enjoy autumn-like conditions. Cinnamony sweet treats like these are fun, delicious, and nostalgic.
How the Apples Turned Out
I have to admit though, that baked apples had to grow on me. They used to be a Christmas tradition in my childhood, but I never liked them then. Same goes for the apple chips my mom made for us as healthy snacks. I would rather have no snack.
Now I love apple chips and also baked apples. However, it has to be a tart variety for me to create a perfect contrast to the sweet filling. The apple softens significantly during the baking process, but crunchy walnuts set the perfect texture contrast. With these textures in balance, it is a smooth sail to tasty.
A tip I learned from a recipe comment, is to cut a ring into the peel around the apple to let it breath during baking. Otherwise the peel might burst at any spot of the apple, which usually doesn't look as appealing as one guided ring once around.
I only made one baked apple for myself, since my husband is not a big fan and I prefer eating them fresh and hot from the oven (one at a time). But I adjusted the recipe for 4 baked apples. So we're good. Enjoy your apples and let me know how they went!
Recipes adapted from All Recipes.
Spiced Baked Apples
- 4 tart apples
- 1 tablespoon butter softened
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup walnuts chopped
- enough water to fill bottom of a baking dish
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon or https://leelalicious.com/homemade-apple-pie-spice-recipe/
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Wash and dry the apples. Core apples but not all the way through, either with an apple-corer or cut out a cylinder with a small knife. Cut a ring into the peel around each apple to let them breath during baking.
- Mix butter and brown sugar, add walnut and chocolate chips. Fill mixture into cored apples. Place apples in a baking dish, fill bottom of dish with water. Sprinkle cinnamon over apples and water.
- Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve baked apples hot, with ice-cream if desired.
Pin this Spiced Baked Apples tutorial for later?
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Baking apples can vary in sweetness depending on the variety. Some baking apples, like Honeycrisp or Fuji, tend to be sweeter, while others, like Granny Smith, have a tart flavor that can add a nice contrast to the sweetness of the dish.
Apples can be softened before baking by peeling and slicing them, then cooking them on the stovetop with a bit of water, sugar, and spices until they reach the desired softness. This step can help ensure the apples are fully cooked and tender when the baking process begins.
To spice up apples, you can add various flavors such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or even ginger. These spices can enhance the natural sweetness of the apples and create a warm, comforting aroma.
Baked apples can be a healthy dessert option as they retain the nutritional benefits of fresh apples, including dietary fiber and various vitamins. By using natural sweeteners and minimal added fats, baked apples can be a nutritious treat.
Various apple varieties can be used for baking, depending on personal preference. Some popular choices include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and Braeburn, as they hold up well during the baking process and offer a balance of sweet and tart flavors.
Apples with a firm texture that hold their shape well during baking are ideal for baked apples. Varieties like Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady are often recommended for their ability to maintain their structure and flavors when cooked.
The best baking apples typically have a balance of sweet and tart flavors and maintain their structure when exposed to heat. Apples that hold up well during baking without turning mushy or losing their shape are considered ideal for baking.