Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Baked Apples

I don't often make baked apples--I think about how wrinkly and ugly they look, and about how few ingredients there are, and if I'm going to go to the trouble of making dessert, I turn to something more elegant.  But I was looking for a simple dessert for a small dinner with guests last week, and turned to this recipe, which I've used before.  I need to make them more frequently--they truly are delicious, just like the recipe title says.  And next time, I'll make a couple of extra, so we can have them again for breakfast the next day.  By the way, the source for this recipe is one of my favorite cookbooks.

adapted from Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet
serves 4

3/4 cup dry white wine
6 T. apple juice or cider
3 T. sugar (optional)
1-1/2 T. butter 
rounded 1/8 t. cinnamon
4 Golden Delicious apples (be sure to use a cooking apple, e.g., not Granny Smith)
about 1/3 c. golden raisins (as much as it takes to fill cavities in apples)

Preheat oven to 350.
Core the apples.  (I don't have an apple corer.  I start the hole by cutting into the center of the apple with a paring knife.  Then I use a potato peeler to scrape away a deeper hole, taking out all the seeds.)  Make a cavity about an inch wide.
In a small saucepan, combine the wine, apple juice or cider, sugar (if using), butter, and cinnamon.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring it occasionally, lower the temperature, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Peel the top third of each apple, and place the apples, peeled side up, in a baking dish (8" square works fine).  Fill the cavities with raisins and pour the wine mixture over the apples.
Place the uncovered dish in the middle of oven and bake the apples, basting them a few times with the wine sauce, for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the apples are tender but not mushy (poke a knife in to test); at the last basting, pour any remaining sauce over the apples.  Serve the apples warm, chilled, or at room temperature with the wine sauce spooned over them.

Vanilla ice cream is nice on the side, but the apples are a really nice dessert all on their own!