October 09, 2004

Twice Baked Apples

Well, thankfully my long week of hell at work is done and I can relax and actually have some time to read some blogs and come up with a post.

This a yummy treat that I thought up on Wednesday afternoon.
I told my co-worker, Lawruh, that I was planning on making some apple sauce and we got into a debate about recipes.

I said that I was going to use cinnamon and nutmeg to spice it up, but that I was also going to try, for the first time, raisons.
She then suggested adding some brown sugar and suddenly I realized that those would be all the usual ingredients of a baked apple.

Then it hit me. Twice-Baked Apples!

I finally got around to making two of 'em this afternoon and have just finished chowing one of 'em. Mmmmmmm.
I'll probably wait a while to eat the other one; probably for desert in about an hour or so.
Aw, hell, where's that spoon...!

Wanna try it? Here's what t' do!

For 2 apples you'll need:

3 large Cortland apples (should weigh in at about two pounds total)
tbsp brown sugar
a few dashes of cinnamon
a dash or two of nutmeg
about 1/3 cup of raisons

(I specify Cortland apples because that's what I use. The only other baking apple I've tried was Rome Beauty and they, in my experience, have always been too soft and tend to collapse under their own weight if ya look at 'em sideways after baking.
I hear Granny Smiths are good, too, but I think a baked apple should be red, not green. Or yellow. But, that's just me, I guess.)

Preheat the oven to 350o.

Peel and core 1 of the 3 apples and cut it into large chunks. (I cut it into wedges and then just cut the wedges in half.) Toss 'em into a medium-sized saucepan. Also, cut away any good apple from the core and add it to the pan.

Cut of the crowns of the two remaining apples. Peel and save the good apple from the crowns. Add it to the saucepant. (I also threw in some pieces of apple peel for good measure.)

Peel off the top 1/4" of the apple shells.

Using a melon baller or teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, carefully dig out the guts of the two apples leaving a 1/4" wall.
Be careful not to use the apple's shell for leverage while you dig; we don't wanna end up makin' twice-cracked apples here!
The Cortlands are pretty soft and you should be able to empty the shell pretty easily if you do it slowly and carefully.

Toss all of the good apple that you dug out of the shells into the pot and discard the pieces from the core.

Add just a little bit water -- 1/8 cup or so -- to the pot and turn it up to medium-high heat. Once the apples start to simmer lower the heat until you get a nice consistent simmer going.

After about 5-10 minutes of simmering the apple sauce, put the apple shells into the 350o oven and bake for 20 minutes. The apple sauce will be done at the same time as the shells.

Add the dashes of nutmeg and cinnamon and the tablespoon of brown sugar to the applesauce and stir. Stir the sauce every few minutes as the apple chucks soften.

5 minutes before the shells are done (15 minutes after they'd gone in) add the raisons to the sauce and stir 'em in there. The kitchen oughta be smellin' real good about now.

Grab a potato masher and mash the apple chucks a little bit or a lot, depending on how you like it. I like it half saucy and half chunky. The chunks are soft and will fall apart very easily, so I just do about 5 or 6 mashes and it's perfect.

When the shells are done take 'em out of the oven and turn off the oven and range top and turn on the broiler.

Scoop the applesauce into the shells. You wont have any apple sauce left over; the shells will be just slightly heaping with the apple sauce.

Sprinkle some sugar over the top of each stuffed apple and broil for about 3 minutes to caramelize the sugars on the surface.

Remove from broiler.
Turn off broiler.
Let 'em cool for a few minutes.
Put on It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Grab a teaspoon (or two) and eat 'em up!

(Okay, so these aren't technically "twice baked". I just thought it was catchier than "half-simmered, half-baked, once-broiled".)

Posted by Tuning Spork at October 9, 2004 06:30 PM

Oh my God, you read my mind. I went to the Farmer's market today and as I went to the apple grower's section the scent of fresh picked apples was everywhere. I started missing my friends because 2 of our traditional fall trips was to an apple orchard and a pumpkin patch. So I was hoping to relive a memory through my baked apple recipe.

Last year a fire in the apartment above me partially destroyed my kitchen and so I lost all my recipes and my cook book collection amongst other things.

The apple recipe you posted was exactly what I wanted to make for desert tonight.As much as I tried to remember the recipe while standing in front of the cortlands or visualize it, it wouldn't come back to me so I just bought my usual granny smiths and red delicious.

I'm really glad you posted this. It guess that my picture gave me good Karma.

Posted by: Michele at October 9, 2004 08:40 PM

Do'h! Losing all yer recipes and cookbooks sucks!

I lost my long-trusty recipe for my "awesome sauce". It was a tomato and cream sauce with mushrooms and shallots and red wine and whatever else I put in it. I made it as a topping for beef, but my friends all said it could make a stand-alone side dish. It was addictive... and it's gone!
Had it tacked to the fridge for years. But, when I moved 2 1/2 years ago it got misplaced.


Glad you like the apple recipe, of course! Yer post made me feel like I closed my eyes, threw the dart... and hit a bullseye!
Sweet kharma. :D

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 10, 2004 07:40 PM

This sounds great! Perfect alongside a stack of pancakes on a cold winter morning.

Posted by: Ted at October 10, 2004 10:00 PM
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