What Are The Best Apples For Baked Apples

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BAKED APPLES | easy baked apples with cinnamon oat filling

I look forward to apple desserts every year when the leaves change color and the weather turns chilly. Its not just the warm, inviting flavors of these treats that I craveI also love perfuming the house with smells of apples and cinnamon. When I want to roll up my sleeves, Ill happily whip up an apple crisp or an apple bundt cake, but these delectable baked apples are even easier to make and satisfy my autumnal dessert cravings.

This crazy-simple baked apple recipe requires three steps: core the apples, stuff them with a nutty and sweet filling, and bake until tender. Then, simply dollop some whipped coconut cream or dairy-free ice cream on top and youve got a showstopper dessert. Its all the flavors of an apple pie, but without the flour, effort, and fuss!

Why I Love Them:

  • Fast Only 5 minutes of prep time and theyre ready for the oven!
  • Healthier Perfect dessert to satisfy that sweet tooth while still eating something a little lighter. Theyre delicious without the ice cream, too.
  • Individually portioned: conveniently adapt the recipe for your family size, and use whatever apples you have on hand. The larger the apples, the more filling will fit inside.

Choose The Right Apple

There are a lot of delicious apple varieties available at the grocery stores today, but not all of them hold up well when baked. You want them to get soft, of course, but not mushy, and you dont want an apple that completely collapses and loses its color. You want one that is, in the words of Goldilocks, just right. McIntosh and Granny Smiths are amazing when used in an assortment of apple desserts such as pies, cobblers, or Fresh Apple Cake, but they arent very attractive when baked whole. Honeycrisp apples hold their shape fairly well when baked, as do Empire, Braeburn, and Rome apples. Of course, many people opt to use the popular Fuji and Gala varieties. Experiment for yourself and choose whichever baked apple texture and taste makes you happy.

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Healthy Baked Apple Dessert

Typically baked apples are made with lots of butter, and sugar but they dont even need that!

Apples are so sweet and delicious on their own that you can make a baked apple even better with just a few simple ingredients!

Are baked apples still healthy? Yes! Baked apples are totally healthy. Theyre a delicious treat that is perfect if youre health conscious.

Best Apples For Baking

Baked Apples Recipe

The best apples for baking are crisp, firm, sweet-tart and can stand up to the heat of the oven or stove without turning mushy.

Surprisingly, not every apple fits this description. Some apples maintain their shape in an odd way by dehydrating and not actually cooking. There are apples that have so much water in their flesh that they become grainy apple soup in the oven.

Some of the apples on this list are readily available, while others may be harder to find unless you’re at the farmer’s market or have just gone apple picking. Read on for the full scoop.

Braeburn: Crisp, with a strong apple flavor that doesnt need another apple to balance the flavor in a pie, these apples will bake up juicy but not mushy. Braeburns can stand up to strong warm spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Cortland: Apples you can prep without fear of browning quickly are convenient when prepping pie filling, and Cortlands fill the bill. A good balance of sweet and tart flavors, they can be the lone apple in a pie.

Crispin: This is an apple with a Japanese heritage, also known as a Mutsu. Crunchy, sweet and seriously juicy, Crispins are an all-around great apple. Use them in pies, salads and sliced as a snack.

Granny Smith: Granny Smiths have all the same qualities as Honeycrisps: juicy, crisp and great for baking. The only difference is that Granny Smiths are as tart as a Honeycrisps are sweet. You may need a bit more sugar in the mix when making a filling with Granny Smith apples.

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Baking With Apples Is Easier Than It Seems Follow Our Guide To Fall Apples To Find Out Which Apples Are Best For Baking Pies Making Sauce Or Serving On A Cheeseboard

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I wait all year for apple season and know that buying the right type of apple can take fall baking recipes from good to I cant stop eating this delicious!

When the weather cools, I dream of tart, crisp apples baked into turnovers, layered into Dutch Apple Pie, coaxed into applesauce, and pressed into cider.

If youre not sure which apple is best for a pie and which is best for a mid-afternoon snack, dont worry! Youre not alone. There are more than one hundred apple varieties commercially grown in the United States and with so many options, it’s difficult to know what apple is best for which fall baking recipe?

According to Toni Lynn Adams at the Washington Apple Commission, an apple with high cell density is heavier and better for baking because it wont break down as quickly as low density apples. But what does that mean when youre at the orchard or staring down apples in the produce aisle?

I wrote this easy-to-follow fall apple guide to help you pick the perfect apple for baking, snacks, and sauce. Read on to up your apple IQ.

Alison Bickel

Baked Apples For When You Don’t Have Time For Apple Pie

I’m all for homemade apple pie or warm apple strudel, but if you’re looking for something easy that will give you all the apple pie vibes with less work , I give you: baked apples!

Warm and tender baked apples with cinnamon, brown sugar, and any nuts you have will taste and feel as delicious as apple pie. I love that you can make them any night of the week for a simple dessert with very little planning. Serve them as is or add your favorite vanilla ice cream .

I wrote this recipe for baked apples that you can make two ways–stuffed with the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture, or sliced up and tossed in the same delicious mixture.

The stuffed baked apples will take just 10 to 15 minutes longer, but they do deliver on the wow factor in every way! I highly recommend you try the stuffed apple method.

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Best Apples For Making Whole Baked Apples

February 7, 2009 By Nancy Baggett

When youre out at the farmers market or in the supermarket, does it make a difference which kind of apples you buy for preparing whole baked apples? Are some appleslike some potatoesbetter suited for baking whole than others?

The answer is yes! After conducting informal comparison bake-offs of different varieties over several autumns, Ive determined that some apples make beautiful and delicious whole baked apples and others dont. One result may totally surprise youthe Granny Smith doesnt look or taste good baked whole. If you are looking for a super good and easy recipe for whole baked apples go here.

Jonathan apples

The basket above contains one of my favorite old-fashioned baking apples, the Jonathan. When you can find them, they are delish right off the tree, or cooked or baked. Their only drawback is that they are somewhat hard to find, and they tend to be smallish so when baked whole the finished servings are on the modest side.

Its common for recipes simply to call for baking apples, or tart apples,or large apples, which is not really helpful! Occasionally they specify Granny Smith or Golden Delicious or Rome a few suggest McIntosh. So I tried all fourand not all made good baked apples at all!

Here are the results of my comparison bake-off: The Rome apples held their shape, although the skins tended to split and lost a lot of the original pretty red color. The flesh tasted pleasantly tart.

Granny Smith baked apple

Substitutions For This Baked Apple Recipe:

Easy Sliced Baked Apples | The best healthy fall and winter dessert of all times

These apples are pretty versatile and easy to make. Feel free to sub any of the following ingredients.

Spices: I sometimes will add even more cinnamon to this recipe. You can add more cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or any spices you choose!

Nut free You can make this recipe nut free by simply omitting the pecans

Paleo: You can make this recipe paleo by skipping the oats and doubling up on the pecans. It is less filling but will be equally as delicious!

Maple Syrup You can sub with honey

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The Best Apples To Eat Raw

Apples that are grown primarily to be eaten raw are known as table apples, dessert apples and eating apples. While these varieties can be used for cooking, theyre best enjoyed fresh as a snack or in salads. Generally, these apples have a naturally sweet flavor and often, their texture doesnt stand up well to cooking.

What Are The Best Apples For Baking

ANY apple will work for baked apples, but different apples have different tastes.

If you prefer sweeter apples, Cortland or Fuji are a good choice. For a more tart applesauce Braeburn, McIntosh are a better choice.

This post lists all of the different apples and flavors they bring to a dish.

Theres really no wrong apple to use when you bake them they become softer, sweeter + sooo delicious!

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Hollow Out Those Apples

But don’t use an apple corerit will slice all the way through the apple, which is not what we’re after. You want to remove the core and seeds while keeping the bottom of the apple intact so you have a nice little vessel in the middle to fill with sweet things and butter.

Start by using a paring knife to carefully slice around the top core of the apple, making sure not to go all the way through to the bottom. Then pull out what you cut, and use a spoon to scoop out the rest, making sure that all seeds are out. I find that the sharp edges of a 1/2 tsp. measuring spoon are ideal for scooping out the core, but any small sharp spoon or even a melon baller will do.

Filling those apples with sugar, spice, and everything nice…like butter.

Baked Apple Recipe Ingredients

Classic Baked Apples

I mentioned these baked apples were simple, right? To make them, you only need 8 ingredients:

  • Apples, of course! I recommend using crisp, firm apples for this recipe. Honeycrisp work really well, as do Pink Lady and Gala.
  • Whole rolled oats The toasty oats are one of my favorite parts of my apple crisp , so I knew I wanted to use them in the topping for my baked apples too.
  • Almond flour and crushed walnuts They add richness and nutty flavor to the topping. If you dont have walnuts on hand, chopped pecans would be a lovely swap.
  • Brown sugar It sweetens the topping.
  • Apple Pie Spice For warm, spiced autumn flavor. I use a homemade blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom, but a store-bought blend or plain cinnamon would also do the trick.
  • Coconut oil Some firm, some melted. The firm coconut oil helps the topping clump together, and the melted coconut oil helps the apples become moist and tender as they bake.
  • And sea salt To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

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Prepare The Apples Carefully

This baked apple recipe yields beautiful and delicious results, in large part because of how we slice the apples .

Slicing off the tops of the apples gives us easier access to the insides for scooping and provides greater surface area for steam to escape from the apple flesh, reducing the likelihood that the skin will split open. The tops create a micro-environment that helps the apple bake evenly throughout and prevents the filling from becoming too golden. All that, and the apple tops are cute!

Prepare And Core The Apples

If an apple is slightly wobbly, use a paring knife to trim a little off of the bottom to make it stable. Dont trim off too much apple or youll run the risk of puncturing the apple when you core it.

Use a melon baller to remove the stem and scoop out the core and seeds.

Remove all of the seeds and core, but be careful to leave the bottom and sides intact.

No melon baller? Simply use a sharp paring knife and teaspoon to remove the core.

Next, use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel the skin off the top edge, about ½-inch wide.

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How To Store Leftover Baked Apples

If you have any leftover baked apples, you can store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat the baked apples in the microwave, about 1 minute on high power, or in the oven at 325°F for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through.

Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. Youll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans , Ready or Not! , and Nom Nom Paleo: Lets Go! .

Overview: How To Make Baked Apples

More apples than dough | Best Apple Cake recipes with fresh apples | YUMMY RECIPES
  • Mix all of the filling ingredients together. You need soft butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oats. Craving a little flavor? Add some raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped pecans. You could also add the zest from 1 orange or a pinch of ground ginger, too.
  • Core the apples. This step is the trickiest part of the recipe, but if you use a little arm muscle and have patience, youll be fine. I recommend using a sharp paring knife and a spoon. I find cookie scoops can easily break or crack the apples. Once the core is out, use a spoon to dig out any more seeds.
  • Place the apples into your baking dish. I recommend an 8 or 9-inch round or square pan. Once the apples are in the dish, fill them with the brown sugar oat mixture.
  • Add warm liquid. To keep the apples moistened and to prevent them from burning, fill the pan with a little warm water. Like when we bake flourless chocolate cake, we want a steamy and humid oven for baked apples. For something different, use warm apple cider instead!
  • Bake. The baked apples take about 40-45 minutes to become pleasantly soft and tender. Bake longer for softer, mushier baked apples.
  • Serve. Remove the baked apples from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes before serving. If you crave a little extra juiciness, spoon some of the hot liquid from the pan onto each. Serve with whipped cream, salted caramel, and/or vanilla ice cream.
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    How To Store Apples

    Though they’re at their best when they’re freshly picked in autumn, apples that ship and store well are available year-round. When you get them home, store in a dry, cool place. They’ll keep best if the individual apples don’t touch: It’s true, one bad apple spoils the bunch. If you store them in the fridge, keep them away from lettuce and other delicate produce, as the ethylene gas naturally produced by apples causes fruits and vegetables to ripen and/or spoil faster. Read more about how to store apples.

    Check out our collection of Apple Recipes.


    Can You Make These Without Keeping The Apples Whole

    You definitely can make these without keeping the apples whole. If youd prefer baking the apples in slices check out this Healthy Apple Crisp recipe. Its very similar to this recipe and will give you more of the treat youre looking for!

    You also can cut these apples in half down the stem-line and core them that way. They will cook a little bit quicker. Either way will work!

    You also can peel the apples if you prefer not to eat the skin. We actually like the skin and the added nutrition it gives!

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    The Best Baking Apples

    You don’t want to choose a variety that’ll turn to mush in the oven.

    Boxes of apples for sale at the farmer’s market. More Farmer’s Market Images

    Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.

    If we’re making an apple pie or galette, we don’t want those apples to turn to mush or taste bland. That’s why it’s important to select the right apples for baking. Read on to find out the qualities of a good baking apple – as well as which apple to use when.

    What Are The Best Variety Of Apples For Baking

    Baked Apples Recipe

    There are hundreds of varieties of apples so it can be hard to know which to purchase. There are a number of commonly sold apples that are great for baking. Green apples like Granny Smith provide a nice tart flavor and are great for baking. Other yellow and red varieties that are good for baking include Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Jonathan, Fuji, and Pink Lady. Check the apple for freshness, it should be nice and hard. If the apple is squishy, is bruised, or discolored, you will want to discard them.

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    How To Serve Old Fashioned Baked Apple Slices

    This recipe does double-duty as both a side dish and as a dessert. I like to think of the apples in the same way that I would use applesauce. For instance, offer a warm bowl of baked apples with this 4-Ingredient Pork Loin Roast, with these Stuffed Pork Chops, with a Crispy Roast Chicken, or alongside this Maple-Glazed Roasted Turkey Breast. Hey, you can even take the simple route and purchase a store-bought rotisserie chicken to have with your apples!

    At the breakfast table, serve baked cinnamon apple slices with oatmeal, or pair them with a sausage casserole, quiche, or tater tot casserole for brunch.

    Finally, these baked apple slices also make a delicious dessert. They taste just like the filling from your favorite apple pie — minus the crust! Just top the warm apples with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and you’ll have a truly decadent treat with fewer calories! A drizzle of caramel sauce just takes it to the next level…

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