Fall is the perfect time of year to dive into baked apple desserts. When I was young, my friend’s country church would make hundreds (literally) of gallons of homemade apple butter in huge kettles on the front lawn of the sanctuary. People would take turns stirring and stewing apples over hot coals for hours, and the end result was a warm wonderful gooey mess on homemade lard biscuits. My guess is that the church still does this every year. I’ve read somewhere that smell is our strongest sense which doesn’t surprise me. I’ll never forget the spicy perfume of cooked apples on cool, cloudy, autumn days.
Recipes for poached or baked apples are found in most of my old cookbooks. They all involve butter so that’s a good start. This is almost a 15 minute recipe but not quite. Baking takes a good 20 minutes for the apples to soften and absorb the butter and cinnamon.
The recipe I used is from The Latest and Best Cook Book, 1884.
Baked Apples – Pare and core good, sound, tart apples. Fill them with sugar, butter, and a flavor of spice. Put a little water in the pan, and bake until the apples are thoroughly tender.
I’ve not seen this cook book archived online.
Granny Smith’s are ideal for baking this way because of the natural tartness of the fruit. Core out the centers to remove seeds and stem.
Inside a lipped pan, place cored apples. Fill the centers with layers of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. I also added cranberries and candied nuts (we like walnuts or pecans). Layer until the cores are full.
Put a little water at the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. You’ll know they are done when the apples are soft and start to deflate from the top.
- 6 granny smith apples
- ½ stick butter
- ¼ cup cranberries
- ½ tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup candied walnuts or pecans
- Inside a lipped pan, place cored apples.
- Fill the centers with layers of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. I also added cranberries and candied nuts (we like walnuts or pecans). Layer until the cores are full.
- Add a little water to bottom of the pan to assist with hydration.
- Bake 20 minutes.