Friday, March 30, 2012

Baked Apples, Dessert 3/2/2012

Baked Apples

6 servings

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar 

     (see notes for honey/agave substitution)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
A pinch of sea salt (optional)

1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 – 2 cups apple juice or cider

Water and lemon juice – if needed

©      Use a fork to combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
©      Cut the top off of each apple, and core (use a melon baller or apple corer) being careful not to go all the way through the apple.
©      Pop the cored apples into a bowl of water with a few tablespoons of lemon juice to keep from them turning brown.  This is a handy trick in case you have distractions while prepping the apples J
©      Divide the butter mixture between each apple, by placing the mixture in the hallowed out cores. Add another sprinkle of cinnamon to the apples.
©      Place the tops back onto the apples and place in a casserole dish.
©      Pour the apple juice into the pan and cover with foil or lid.
©      Bake for about 45 minutes (to an hour) at 325° or until apples are tender.
©      Serve with ice cream or top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Slow Cooker Method
©      Place the stuffed apples into the slow cooker and pour apple juice into slow cooker.
©      Bake on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Stove Top Method
©      Place the stuffed apples into a heavy pan deep enough to place apples in and still cover.
©      Pour the apple juice and vanilla into the pan.
©      Cover and cook on low for 35-45 minutes, or until apples are tender.

©      If you like DRIED FRUIT, add 1 -2 teaspoons of raisins, cranberries, or dried cherries per apple and mix with butter and spices, then fill apples.
©      If you prefer HONEY or AGAVE,  simply core apples, then sprinkle insides with cinnamon and nutmeg, add dried fruit if desired, then drizzle in 1 -2 teaspoons of honey or agave, add 1 teaspoon of butter, cover apple with top and bake using desired method.
©      Baked apples are wonderful with oatmeal, granola and yogurt, or pancakes for breakfast.
©      If your apples are sweet (or you are trying to avoid additional sugars of any kind) you can simply sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and bake.
©      Finally, if you need a quicker dessert, melt butter in pan, add sliced apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

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