Baked apples are so simple that I like to bake them once a week while apples are good. Choose any apple except Red Delicious. Michigan-grown Ida Reds, Jonagolds and Fuji are just a few of my favorites for baking. Do not leave out on the nuts! This is best warm out of the oven, so put it in before you sit down to dinner and serve it with a scoop of Palazzolo’s Gelato for dessert. Get ready for applause!
Yield: 10 servings
Time: 1 hour 10 min
3 T butter
1 t orange zest
1 t lemon zest
1 t grated fresh ginger
1/8 t salt
¼ c Crane’s Cider Syrup
¼ c brown sugar
1 cup nuts chopped in smaller pieces; can be walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts or a combo
½ c Crane’s dried tart cherries plumped up in hot water or cognac or bourbon; drain
10 Michigan baking apples washed and cored; skins left on
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the first seven ingredients until smooth. Stir in the nuts and the cherries until well incorporated.
Fill centers of apples with 2 or 3 T filling and place apples in a large, shallow baking dish and place in the center of the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cover apples with foil and bake until apples are soft- about another 20 minutes.
Do you ever have extra apples and wonder what to make next with them? Apple butter is a sweetly spiced concentration that is smoother than jam on buttered toast or biscuits. It can also be thinned down for a sauce for pork. It isn’t a butter at all! You can run this through a food mill or sieve for a smooth apple butter or leave it chunky and these apples cook with the skins and cores for the extra flavor. Any kind of apple will make apple butter! By cooking in the crock pot, it eliminates the need to watch for burning and your house will smell like no candle ever made!
Cooking Time – 6 hours
Yield – 4 cups
10 to 12 medium apples washed and cut into 2 in chunks, leaving them unpeeled and uncored
4 cups apple cider
2 - 2 inch sticks of cinnamon (can sub 2 t ground cinnamon
1 inch peeled ginger, sliced (can sub 1 t ground ginger)
3 allspice berries (can sub ½ t ground allspice)
2 whole cloves (can sub ¼ t ground cloves)
1 ¼ cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Put all ingredients except the sugars in a crock pot and cook on high for 2 hours or until apples are soft. Remove from crock pot and take out the whole spices and run the apple pulp through a food mill or a sieve, or if you prefer a chunky apple butter and just remove the spices. Return the sauce to the crock pot and add both sugars and stir to mix. Cook on low for another 3 to 4 hours or until the sauce is thick and not runny. Will keep for weeks if stored in the refrigerator in a covered container.