Baked apples for dessert can be cooking away while you are eating your main course, and can be prepared well in advance. It is the perfect dessert, as it not only ensures that you eat at least one serving of fruit in your day, but apples are also a great dessert for the whole family, healthy and delicious. Baked apples are quite the old-fashioned sweet, and our Grannies, even our Great Grannies, back in the day, were happily baking apples with various fillings to stretch the budget and present a delicious and welcome dessert for everyone. Desserts with every meal were the norm in my Grandmothers day. Back then, the cavity was sometimes just filled with sugar, and cloves were placed around the apple for spicy flavour, or a date or a few raisins or sultanas could be placed in the base of the apple, before filling it with sugar. They knew how to make the most of what they had on hand in the pantry. All that sugar and no guilt. They probably served them with custard or homemade ice-cream if they had an icebox, and everyone was happy.
I've taken the dried fruit ingredient to the next level in this recipe, as I baked my Fruit Mince Teacake a couple of weeks ago, and had a quarter of a large jar of fruit mince leftover in the frig. It is the perfectly spiced fruity filling for baked apples. Apples are such a ubiquitous fruit, that so many wonderful dishes can be cooked with them, however when it comes to baking, the Granny Smith apple performs the best. Did you know about 60,000 tons of Granny Smith apples are harvested in Australia each day?
Legend has it that Maria Ann Smith, also know as Granny Smith, was an Englishwoman who emigrated to Australia in the mid-1800s with her husband Thomas. She was doing some weeding one day in Tasmania, and was composting I like to think, and dumped a crate of old rotten Crab apples from their orchard at the back of their garden. Many months later she noticed a sapling growing, which subsequently produced the green and slightly sour fruit, which became known as the Granny Smith apple. I'm really pleased that the botanists haven't decided to change it's name. Granny Smith lives on, but she died never knowing that the apples she discovered would be popular the world over, thanks to their resilient qualities. There are many versions of the origin of the Granny Smith apple but they all agree that Granny Smith was responsible.
I enjoy eating fresh apples, but these baked apples exceeded my expectations, especially with fresh cream.
4 large Granny Smith Apples (the green ones)
80g unsalted butter, diced and softened
1/3 cup (65g) brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup fruit mince or mixed dried fruit
Pure (thin cream) to serve
Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C
Find a baking dish that the apples fit snugly into.
Core the apples. To prevent the apples bursting during cooking, cut a thin line around the circumference of each apple with a sharp knife.
Mash the softened butter and brown sugar together in a bowl with a fork until combined.
Then add the fruit mince and the cinnamon until well combined.
Spoon the fruit mixture into the cavity of each apple, and press it down well.
Pour 1/4 cup water (60ml) into the base of the dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and until the apples are just starting to soften.
Place the apples on 4 serving plates, small or large, and drizzle the juices from the baking dish over the apples, and top with a lot of cream.
Serves 4I have Granny Smith apples in my frig crisper, and some dried fruit in packets, so dessert is sorted for tonight. We'll be very happy to enjoy a rerun of this dessert, whilst there is still a hint of cool weather left, however this dessert is still light enough to be eaten in Summer.
Would be fantastic with some homemade vanilla sauce :-) So yummy!ReplyDelete
What a great idea, thanks TandyDelete
I love baked apples, though I’ve never used a Granny Smith! My family always use Macintosh. Yours look wonderful, Pauline — and I love how you added the fruit mince to the filling. Also, I never knew the Granny Smith story, which I think is absolutely wonderful.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much David, I've never seen the Macintosh apple, interesting how many varieties there are.Delete
Pauline, the stuffing in the apples looks so amazing! I love the idea of using fruit mince - so much flavour!ReplyDelete
Thanks Marcellina, I was really pleased with these, I'll be making them again.Delete
It has been ages since I baked apples! My cousin used to do these every night for their after dinner treat :)ReplyDelete
I haven't had them for a long time either Tandy, so pleased I cooked them, really enjoyed them. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Pauline, that post brought back memories as Mum used to bake apples every winter. When we used to have desserts I did the same thing but haven't bake them for years now as I try to keep my weight down and you know you just have to add custard....or cream. Ha ha!ReplyDelete
Nice to have those memories though Chel isn't it? I have yoghurt with mine which is kinda healthy. Thanks for your comment:)Delete