The Case For Baked Apples

It's apple season. For a lot of people, that means it's also apple pie season. Gotta say, apple pie doesn't really do it for me (I prefer an apple crostata, or something with a higher crust to fruit ratio). If I'm going to eat a hot, tender, cooked apple with not much else around it, give it to me in all its glory.

I'm talking about whole baked apples, which, IMHO, don't get as much love as they should. Not only is this a pleasantly pure (rustic? carnal?) way to eat an apple, but it requires almost no effort. Core the apple, peel the apple (I only do the top half), throw it in a dish with some liquid, and bake until tender. This isn't a standing rib roast; if you overcook it a little bit nobody's going to care (or know).

I also like whole baked apples because they can lean sweet or savory (yes, I realize this is a feature of apples in general, but these are stuff-able, so it's all just a little more fun). The recipe below has variations on both sides, so whether you're a honey-maple-shredded-coconut kind of person, or a blue-cheese-sausage-bacon sort of person, you're covered. Check it out.

Also, while I neglected to include this in Tuesday's Thanksgiving recipe list, it's worth mentioning (if you couldn't already guess) that I think this dish deserves serious consideration for a spot on the Thanksgiving table. You could bake them with salt and chopped sage and serve them as a side dish, or with sugar and warm spices and serve them (with some vanilla ice cream) for dessert. I'm not saying you shouldn't also have pie, just maybe something other than apple. Have a wonderful weekend.

—Mark

P.S. Yet another thing I forgot to mention on Tuesday when I wrote about Thanksgiving: For anyone who's cooking the turkey this year and doesn't have a decent instant-read thermometer, my favorite (the Thermapen, which I use for everything) is currently as cheap as I've ever seen it. I think this lasts until Monday, so if you happen to be in the market, just FYI.


Go savory and use salt; go sweet and use sugar. Savory baked apples are excellent alongside pork, or with sour cream or yogurt; their sweet counterparts make a simple dessert with cookies, ice cream, or whipped cream.

BAKED APPLES, 7 WAYS


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Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.