It's apple season and I'm in the middle of it! Autumn is in the air, the days are sunny and bright, the nights cool and crisp and if you have apples baking in the oven, we'll you might as well be in heaven!
The apple festivals are about to start. I remember years ago the one in Hendersonville, North Carolina, where I lived, and I can't wait to finish unpacking so I can start enjoying the area. It's been so cool here at night, at least for us Floridians, that we've started lighting the fireplace the past couple of nights. That's what reminded me of baked apples and my aunt's recipe.
Now, baked apples are as simple a dessert as you can make. I usually bake them with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, butter and a little sherry . Put everything on top and that's it. This recipe has some different ingredients than what you are used to and its delicious. Make sure, though, that the apples are thoroughly cooked. The cooking time depends on the apples and the oven so sometimes it may take up to an hour for the apples to be soft. This may be an easy recipe but there is nothing worse than undercooked baked apples!
6 Rome apples, cored
1 orange, grated zest of
6 TB raisins
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup unsalted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 Cup honey
1 cup orange juice or apple cider
2-3 cinnamon sticks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Make a round cavity on top of the apples about 1/2 inch deep. Place the apples in a 2 inch deep baking pan. In a bowl mix the orange zest, the raisins, the brown sugar and the cinnamon. Add mixture to inside of the apple cavities. Whatever doesn't fit sprinkle in bottom of pan. Cut the butter in 6 slices and place on top of the apples. In a small pan mix the honey and orange juice or apple cider until hot and the honey dissolved. Cook for about a minute, until it just comes to a boil, and drizzle on top of the apples. Add a couple of cinnamon sticks to the pan. Bake uncovered for 45 mins. to 1 hour. Baste the apples at least twice during baking. Test to make sure they are soft with a fork. Serve hot or room temperature. Vanilla ice cream is great, but not necessary.
For more apple recipes, check out http://mykitchenbythelake.blogspot.com/