Making the Perfect Baked Apples — July 8, 2020

Making the Perfect Baked Apples

The perfect baked apples are an apple lover’s dream…and a chef’s pleasure to make whenever they are too lazy, like me, or don’t want to take the time to make an actual apple pie.

 

 

 

The perfect baked apple pie is a sweet, warm, and delicious apple….topped with delicious spices like cinnamon, fresh ginger, and nutmeg…and finally served with a generous portion of vanilla ice cream or homemade caramel sauce (see recipe below)…

 

 

 

The perfect baked apple a a simple, old-fashioned dessert that has all the deliciousness of the filling of an apple pie…yet takes a whopping five minutes to make.

 

 

 

Not only are baked apples definitely a treat to eat, but they also fill your home with a great aroma.

 

 

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Gather Your Ingredients

1/4C brown sugar

1tsp spices—such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

2Tbsp butter

3/4C boiling water or apple cider

7 apples

2Tbsp lemon juice

Optional Ingredients…1/4C chopped walnuts or pecans, chopped raisin, dried cranberries

Choose the Right Apples

In order to make baked apples, guess what you must first have…

 

Apples…duh(?!)

 

But how do you decide which apples to choose?!

 

You want to make sure that you don’t choose an apple that will turn to mush so fast they explode out of their skins…but you also want to choose an apples that stays too firm.

 

Instead the apple that you choose to make your baked apples should be able to become nice and soft inside, but still maintain its shape.

 

Typically the best apples to choose are firm, crisp and tart apples—such as Gala apples, Fuji apples, and Granny Smith apples.

 

You’ll need one apple per person….which means that you can cook anywhere from one to one hundred…if you have a baking dish that will actually hold one hundred apples.

 

 

 

 

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Hollow Out Your Apples

Peel and core apples.

 

 

First use a paring knife or apple corer to carefully remove the core of the apple…and then to thinly slice the apple lengthwise.

 

 

Be sure not to slice all the way through the apple…if you do, you will have sliced apples…not an apple that you can actually stuff with sugar and spice and everything nice…instead leave about 1/2″ of the apple intact at the bottom.

 

 

Remove the core and seeds. You can do this with either the sharp edges of a 1/2tsp measuring spoon or a small melon baller.

 

 

Place apples in big enough dish that will hold all of your apples without the apples touching each other.

 

 

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Fill Your Apples

Now for the sugar and spice and everything nice…

 

I guess you could really fill each apples with whatever you want…whatever spices, butter, sugar, currants, chopped raisins, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, walnuts

 

Stir these together in a large bowl andf then add a pinch or two to each apple.

 

Top each stuffed apple with 1/2 Tbsp butter,

 

 

 

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Bake Your Apples

Pour about 1″ of liquid around the apples. This not only will keep the apple from charring and sticking to the baking dish as it bakes, but will also help make your apples turn out softer—such as water, apple cider, a splash of bourbon or brandy.

 

Bake the apples at 350°F oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, until they are soft, but not mushy. Test them by piercing them with a fork.

 

 

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Serve Your Apples

Once your apples have finished baking, take them out of the oven and let them sit for five to ten minutes.

 

 

Baste the apples with the juices from the pan.

 

 

Then serve with something cold and creamy—such as heavy cream, ice cream, or yogurt.

 

 

Baked apples are best when served fresh, but leftovers can last in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer up to a month.

 

 

To reheat your baked apples, either cook them  in the microwave or bake at 350 until warmed through.

 

 

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie — June 17, 2018

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie

Now that my husband has been officially declared as a type 2 diabetic, one of my priorities as far as our family meals has been to start cooking healthier than my Mississippi ancestry and love for foods such as Paula Dean’s Sour Cream Pound Cake have always taught me.

I have started exploring options to ordinary cane sugar, such as agave nectar and coconut sugar. Lately I have starting experimenting with date sugar.

But how do you use date sugar to make an awesome dessert…especially on holidays such as Father’s Day and the 4th of July?

So I have started my quest for new desserts to put in my recipe box to replace my recipe repertoire…such as this chocolate mousse pie made with a homemade vegan pie crust and coconut whipped cream.

Vegan Pie Crust

  • 1-3/4C flour
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 3/4tsp sugar
  • 6Tbsp cold vegan butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 6 Tbsp shortening
  • 5 Tbsp ice water

Instructions

  • Fill a small bowl with water and a couple of ice cubes.
  • Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Add the cold butter. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dough.
  • Add the shortening to the bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dough until the butter and shortening pieces are about the size of peas.
  • Incorporate tablespoons of additional water as required for the crust to stick together when pressed between your fingers.
  • Dump the pie dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate at least thirty minutes.
  • Place the wrapped disk on a large smooth surface. Unwrap. Sandwich the dough between two pieces of Saran wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 13″ diameter circle.
  • Generously grease a 9″ pie dish. Remove the top piece of plastic wrap. Invert the crust into the pie dish. Carefully remove the other piece of plastic wrap. Fit the crust into the pie dish. Lightly press the dough around the edge of the pie pan. Use scissors to cut excess dough from the edge, following the edge of the pan. Fold the dough over to make a double-thick rim of the crust. Use a fork to crimp the edges.

Chocolate and Date Mousse…This chocolate mousse has a delicate sweetness, an incredibly smooth texture, and best of all—it’s healthy for you.

  • 1/2C Hershey’s Cocoa…(Cocoa can actually be good for you because, depending on how the cocoa has been processed, it often contains a high concentration of antioxidants)
  • 1/2C Sunsweet pitted dates…(In a previous post, I shared the health benefits of dates and date sugar…so not going to reiterate…look here at this post instead).
  • 1-1/4C coconut cream
  • Optional ingredients…(use one or more of the following if desired)…a pinch of sea salt, vanilla extract, some cinnamon, more cocoa, cayenne pepper, a few drops of peppermint extract or fresh mint, finely chopped pineapple, rum, orange zest or extract, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, coffee, Kahlúa, raspberries

Instructions

  1. Refrigerate the can of coconut cream overnight. This allows the cream to solidify and separate at the top of the can, leaving a clear liquid at the bottom. Once you are able to shake the can and no longer feel liquid moving, the coconut cream is ready.
  2. Carefully turn the can upside down. Open and discard the transparent liquid.
  3. Stir the dates with 1Tbsp water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave one minute. Drain. This allows the dates to not be as dry and helps your mousse to have a smooth consistency.
  4. Blend ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Taste and add any optional ingredients until you get the “flavor of the day.”
  6. Spread the mousse into a pie crust.
  7. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 14oz can coconut cream
  • 1Tbsp sugar substitute
  • 1tsp vanilla

    Chill the can of coconut cream for at least one day to allow it to separate and harden. Refrigerate your mixing bowl and beaters for thirty minutes.

Take the can of coconut cream out of the refrigerator. Scoop out only the hard coconut cream that should has settled at the top of the can.

Whip ingredients together until fluffy. Add any additional extracts, spices, and/or cocoa powder as desired.