I loved the week of slow cookery so much that I’m continuing my love affair with my crock pot this week too. Over the weekend, when reaching in the fridge for some homemade apple butter, I realized that we had finally depleted our handsome supply from our harvest trip back in October. However, I was still eager to try a new apple-based recipe and Mom’s Baked Apples came to mind.
Actually, my ears were really perked when I read a recent blog post a few weeks earlier called “Baked Apple Methodone” over at Foodtrainers, I specifically remember Mom making baked apples often during those cool fall days. However, she baked them in a beaten up cake pan in our oven, not in the porcelain pot of an electric slow cooker. And, she piled on heaping spoonfulls of brown sugar and gracious pats of butter which are non-existent in the Foodtrainers recipe (most likely because Mom’s version is NOT something a nutritionist should ever endorse).
In fact, after having eaten 1 1/2 baked apples at one sitting, I’m now convinced Mom’s recipe should be renamed. “Baked Apples: I’ve Died and I’ve Gone to Heaven.”
Again, only a few simple ingredients are required to transform your regular every day baking apples into a soft, sweetened fruit sensations. And, chances are, you don’t even need to make a trip to the store. I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge.
To prepare the for the slow cook, my kids enjoyed an afternoon full of: coring, peeling, and then packing the apples with brown sugar and dried fruits. It really did feel like a rainy day art project.
While the apples were slow cooking, we became intoxicated from the cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar smells wafting from the kitchen. Only four hours later and our once naked, skinned apples evolved into a beautiful sculptures of plump, juicy, bold fruits.
The kids were totally amazed that their knives could simply slide right through the soft center of the apple as if they were cutting a piece of moist birthday cake. Each slice literally melted in their mouths. Very little chewing was required. You can just slurp the sticky sweetness.
My son was proud to note the vast similarities between the baked apples and the beloved apple butter he’s been spreading on everything from bagels to pancakes these past few weeks. Of course they both taste amazing. How can you go wrong when combining apples and sugar and cinnamon and butter?
The baked apples tasted just as good for dessert at dinner as they did for breakfast the next day. Either hot from the cooker or cool from the fridge, the sweet flavor and hearty portions received two thumbs up from both kids AND hubby. Unfortunately, my slow cooker could only hold 4 Rome apples at once so we finished our batch in less than 18 hours.
Without a doubt, this dish will be gracing our table all winter long!
Baked Apples (adapted in part from the Cuisinart Cookbook)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup yellow raisins
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds lightly toasted
- 4 medium-large baking apples (I used Rome but Braeburn, Granny Smith or Gala will work)
- 1 tablespoon unslated butter
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- Mix brown sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside 1/4 cup sugar mix for topping. Add raisins and almonds and combine to make filling.
- Core apples 3/4 of the way down.
- Peel top 1/3 of the apples. Stuff some filling in each cavity.
- Place apples in Slow Cooker. Sprinkle remaining sugar and spice mix over tops.
- Dot each with 1/2 teaspoon pat of butter and pour juice around the edges.
- Turn slow cooker on, set time to 4 hours on low.
- When ready, serve apples with any loose nuts and fruits and drizzle top with pan juices.
Have any yummy slow cooker recipes for apples? Share them!