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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apple Time

One of my mother's specialties was Weight Watchers baked apples.  I still remember those apples as though I had one yesterday.  She made them with diet black cherry soda and my mother being my mother, cooked them to within an inch of their lives.  To say they were mushy would have been giving the cooking process credit.

But I digress.  I had no idea that baked apples could be a thing of beauty -- a perfect showcase for all that is delicious about an apple.

Kate loves apples so every fall I try to find new apple recipes.  It was actually Kate who suggested that we give baked apples a try.  Since I had never actually had a good baked apple, I knew this was going to be a challenge.  But I was up for it.  I am a cooking machine.

My first step was to find a good recipe, one that didn't call for diet black cherry soda.  Do they even make diet black cherry soda anymore?  I wanted a recipe that depended more on the apple and less on the other stuff.  I looked at a lot of recipes and then decided that the best basting liquid for a baked apple would have to be apple juice or apple cider.  Makes sense.  A little cinnamon and sugar, just enough to highlight the apple, would finish it off perfectly.

After perusing dozens of recipes online, I decided that the way to go was with a Paula Deen recipe.  Come on.  How could her recipe not be good?  Sugar, cinnamon, apple juice, and just at touch of butter to richen things up a bit.

And boy were these apples good.  They would even be delicious without the dab or butter so if you feel you must, leave it off.  The apples were sweet and just melted in our mouths.

My mother would have loved these apples, even minus the diet black cherry soda.

Recipe:  Baked Apples
(Paula Deen)


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
6 same-size Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 teaspoon-size pieces
1 cup apple juice
6 sprigs fresh mint


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Core apples, making sure not to puncture the bottom of the apples so that the juices will remain. Remove skin from 1/2-inch around top of apples at the opening. Fill each cavity with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter. Place apples in casserole dish and pour apple juice around them. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh mint, and serve.

1 comment:

  1. They look great! Diet black cherry cola may have been good for some recipes but baked apples? I think your Mom surely would have been a convert had she been able to taste yours.