Food

Baked Apples

I was inspired to make this dessert by my sister-in law Joy, an excellent cook, who made it for us a few weekends ago. When I walked into her house, the kitchen smelled like apple pie, but Joy was making baked apples. She served them up with plenty of the delicious pan juice, and I couldn’t get over how satisfying and creamy they tasted. I topped mine with a dollop of almond butter, and the combination of flavors tasted remarkably like apple pie.

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet apples (a little less than 1/2 pound each)
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F. Core the apples, and peel a wide strip around the top.

Place the apples in a baking dish. Whisk together the cider, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and salt, and pour the mixture over the apples.

Bake the apples until they are very tender, basting them every 20 minutes with the pan juice. The apples are done when the skin bursts, and you can easily cut into the flesh with a spoon. Depending on whether you use soft or crisp apples, they will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours to become tender, with crisp apples taking the longest. Cool the apples slightly, and serve topped with the pan juice.

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Rachael Ray