EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: WARM DESSERTS
RECIPE: BAKED APPLES
As the name suggests, apples are baked with a stuffing. Easy to make, absolutely delicious with a light tangy caramel sauce that develops when butter and brown sugar melts into the fresh orange juice. Best enjoyed warm.
Usually, the apples are either cut into halves, cored and stuffed or whole apples are used. Actually, it is so much easier to core apples with a corer. However, if you don’t have one, then patiently cut out the middle of the apple with a sharp paring knife. Incidentally, have you noticed how when you need a gadget the most, you cannot find it? I swear I had a corer and just can’t find it! Not that my kitchen is big!
Apples that are best for baking
Here are some suggestions of apples that I’ve used for baking. With a huge variety, use any that becomes soft on baking.
- Golden Delicious
- Pink Lady
- Granny Smith
Stuffing for the Apples
Once you’ve decided whether you want to use whole apples or halved, next comes the stuffing. Generally brown sugar, nuts, butter and raisins are used. Choice of nuts is entirely up to you. In fact, to make it into a warm breakfast treat add some oats to the mixture. Sometimes, savory stuffing is used. If you stuff the apples with oats or a savory stuffing, make a deeper well or cavity. Also chop the scooped out apple( not the core or seeds) finely and add to the mixture.
A bit about the group:
Every month a new theme is chosen by members. Then the participants are paired up. They give each other 2 secret ingredients to use in their recipe which is prepared fitting the theme. As soon as their dish is ready, the photo is shared on our Facebook group and other try and guess the secret ingredients. Finally, towards the end of the month the recipe is shared on the group. This way members get to know each other and interact with each other.
This Month’s Theme
This month Rafeeda who blogs at The Big Sweet Tooth suggested WARM DESSERTS. Actually, I was expecting that Rafeeda would suggest desserts. As her blog name suggests, she has a huge variety of desserts. Talking about Warm Desserts her Umm Ali, an Egyptian dessert is on my list.
For this month, I’ve been paired with Shobha who blogs at Shobha’s Food Mazaa. In fact, I’ve had the opportunity to meet Shobha and she is a very friendly, talented food blogger. In particular, check out her space for You Tube videos where she endeavors to make cooking easy and fun. I’d love to try her fresh pea halwa, definitely a unique recipe. Fortunately, Shobha gave me cinnamon and walnuts as my secret ingredients. Therefore, was able use them for Baked Apples, a recipe which I’ve wanted to try out for a very long time. In return, I gave her ghee and cardamom. Using those ingredients she prepared Makki Ka Sheera.
Some Apple Recipes you may want to check out:
- A warm or cold dessert – Apple Kheer
- Celery Greens and Apple Juice – healthy and delicious
- Eggless Apple and Cinnamon Muffins
- Apple Crumble Cheesecake – vanilla no baked cheesecake is topped with apple crumble.
- Breakfast treat – Apple Aebleskiver
- Scandinavian Apple Charlotte –enjoy it warm or hot
- Apple Crumble Parfait – easy to prepare dessert. Or serve it for breakfast with some yogurt instead of ice cream.
- Green Apple and Spring Onion Chutney – so delicious with fritters, chips or even ganthia.
- Baked tea time treat – Apple Squares
- Butternut Squash and Apple Salad – filling, healthy and nutritious
- Serve a pizza as a dessert – Apple Dessert Pizza
- No refined sugar used in these Apple and Date Muffins
- Beat the heat with Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream
- Serve for breakfast – Apple Oat Muffins
- My favorite is Apple Crisp
- Red Apple Cucumber and Onion Salad – makes a perfect light meal
- A simple Salad – Apple Carrot Salad
- Perfect as a light meal – Apple Avocado Quinoa Salad
Ingredients Required for Baked Apples
- Apples – use apples that bake well. Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fuji, Pink Lady, Jonagold are a few suggestions. Core the middle with a corer or a paring knife.
- Nuts – chopped nuts of your choice. I’ve used walnuts.
- Raisins – or sultanas.
- Butter – I’ve used salted butter, you cause unsalted. For a vegan dessert, use vegan butter. For a healthier dessert omit butter.
- Brown Sugar – for a healthier dessert use honey or maple syrup. For vegan version use maple syrup.
- Fresh Orange Juice – the orange juice actually adds flavour to the dessert. There are recipes that use only water. The whole idea of using some form of liquid is that it helps the apples to soften.
- Orange Zest or Rind – whenever I use fresh orange juice, just can’t help adding zest to the recipe. You can also use vanilla extract.
- Spice Mixture – need cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove powders. Can also use cinnamon powder on its own.
- Gluten Free
- For Vegan version replace dairy butter with vegan butter or omit it altogether.
- Suitable for Vegetarians.
- Kids Friendly Dessert – make sure the apples cool down before serving them to the kids.
- Enjoy this on Ekadashi or Navratri Fasting days – replace salted butter with unsalted.
- 2 large apples
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp butter soft
- ¼ cup orange juice fresh
- ½ tsp orange zest
FOR THE SPICE MIXTURE:
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg powder
- ⅛ tsp clove powder
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Take a ovenproof baking tray.
- Mix the spices for the spice mixture in a small bowl.
- Add to the spice mixture, butter, sugar, chopped nuts and raisins. Mix well.
- Wash the apples. Slice a bit of the top away. Core the middle using a paring knife or a corer.
- Fill the stuffing into the apples, heaping it till the top.
- Pour the orange juice over the apples and into the tray.
- Cover the apples and baking tray with foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the foil and allow the apples to bake further for 10-20 minutes. Bake till you can insert a knife into the apple easily. Baking time will depend on the type of apples used. Mine took total 30 minutes.
- Take the tray out of the oven.
- Serve baked apples immedaitely. Pour the caramel sauce from the tray over the baked apples.
- If you omit butter altogether, there might not be much juice left after baking.
- You can serve baked apples topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or Greek Yogurt.
- To enjoy baked apples for breakfast add oats about 2-3 tbsp and also scoop out a bigger well.
- You can replace the juice with water.
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