A Few Bad Apples

Even though I have been blessed with recipe success lately, the other day I had quite the opposite situation. I attempted to bake apples and they were terrible. They were mushy, had absolutely no flavor, and were completely discolored from the heat (completely the opposite of these). I was distraught. The whole reason I was baking apples in the first place was to stir memories of the delicious baked apples my grandma made when I was little. Her apples would puff up, the skin would almost flake off, and most importantly, they tasted good. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have my grandma’s touch.

I called up my aunt to ask if she remembered my grandma’s recipe. Seeing as how she is her daughter, I knew she’d have the closest recollection of my grandma’s cooking, not to mention my aunt is a wonderful cook herself. She rattled off an impromptu recipe that sounded reminiscent of the baked apples I had in my mind and in theory sounded like it would work. It’s not that she steered me wrong, but something about the way I made these apples did not turn out as planned.

I was to core the apples, put them in a baking dish with a little water at the bottom, and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. Next, I was to put them in a 350-degree oven, covered, for 20 minutes to steam them, then take off the cover and brown them for 10 minutes. Sounds simple, right?

Well, I have a few theories about why they turned out so terribly. For one thing, we didn’t have an apple corer. I wound up using a knife, unsuccessfully and wound up with half massacred apples with huge chunks taken out of the bottom. Not only was this a problem, but it also alerts me now to another problem in that I was probably not supposed to core them the whole way through. What’s a baked apple if it can’t hold in its own cinnamony sugary goodness? Yes, that was mistake #1.

Mistake #2 came from when I felt like improvising and I added margarine. I thought it would sound good, add a little richness to the apples, but I quickly discovered that richness is butter’s job, not margarine’s. When the sugar and cinnamon mixture fell through the apples, I thought it would be good to dip them in the sauce that lay in the bottom of the pan. This is not so when you have a watered down fake butter mixture with not nearly enough cinnamon and sugar. It was terrible I tell you, just terrible.

Other things I should note was that I used brown sugar instead of white sugar. I thought a touch of molasses flavor couldn’t hurt this fall dish and would enhance it (clearly that didn’t work). I also used a combination of Granny Smith and Rome apples because I have read that both are great for apple baking and I was trying to do a test of which was better (anyone have any insight?)

Even though I’ve realized my mistakes, I’m still not sure that if corrected, these apples will come out the way I want them to.  Have any of you ever made baked apples and did they come out ok? If so, please share your recipes and apple baking tips!

Even though I wanted my grandma’s recipe, next time I may try some of these recipes:

Baked Apples in Maple Syrup
Red Hot Cinnamon Baked Apples
Pecan Baked Apples
Wormy Baked Apples
Rich Baked Apples

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  • http://www.thedailyspud.com Daily Spud

    My Mum makes divine baked apples.

    For a start, she uses the apples from her own tree. These are Howgate Wonders and they bake beautifully, so clearly that helps! They’re not a commonly available variety but I suspect commercially grown Bramley apples would bake nicely as well.

    To begin, she cuts a slit in the skin right the way around the centre of the apple (around its waist, you might say) to head off any irregular bursting that might happen while baking.

    Then she removes about 2/3rds of the core using an apple corer, leaving a base for the sugar to sit on.

    She fills the now-empty core with regular granulated sugar (or sometimes sweet mincemeat) and tops with a knob of butter into which she sticks one or two cloves.

    She sits them on a tray or ovenproof dish, pours a small amount of water around them and bakes them uncovered in an oven at 180C until done (which will depend on the size of the apple – maybe 30 minutes or so for large ones).

    Let me tell you, they are yum!

  • http://marisblogs.wordpress.com maris

    I’ve had some failures with baked apples as well. I don’t like them baked though as much as I like hot, homemade applesauce.

  • http://www.xn--smsln1-lua.se Billigaste Smslån

    I am suddenly hungry for apples. Incidentally, do you have recipe for sugar free applesauce? or one that uses nutrasweet? baked apples…yum!

  • http://smslanguiden.se Smslån

    I did the same mistake at first. I realized that i’m not the one to make these things, my wife is way better and never has any trouble making them taste wonderful.

  • http://www.lånamedbetalningsanmärkning.orglånamedbetalningsanmärkning.org Låna med betalningsanmärkning

    Great recipe, i will defintely try this out!

  • http://www.lånamedbetalningsanmärkning.org Låna med betalningsanmärkning

    Yummi apples!

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