Baked apples give you all the flavors of apple pie, but without the crust or the fuss.
Apples can do it all: savory or sweet, raw or cooked. Now, I know they say certain apple varieties are better for baking or cooking than others. Yes, that’s completely true. However, I’ve never really been one to follow those guidelines. If I get a hankering for apple pie, I use the apples sitting on my counter whether they are perfect for that use or not. It always seems to come out just fine. I say that the best apple to use is the one you have on hand.
Case in point, I used Gala apples in this baked apple recipe. Typically, Gala apples are best for cider or drying. I threw caution to the wind and I loved the end product. Paired with a heavy dose of cinnamon and chopped pecans, these baked apples are a delightful dessert pretty enough to grace your Fall feasts.
- 4 Gala apples, washed and cored
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or use melted butter)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash and core your apples. Stand them up in an 8 x 8 baking dish.
- In a small bowl combine the chopped pecans, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into the cored-out hole in the apples.
- In another small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
- Spoon the mixture on the top of the apples.
- Pour the water into the bottom of the baking dish around the base of the apples.
- Place in oven and cook until the apples are softened (fork tender), about 40 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the apples.
- Serve hot from the oven or at room temperature.
- A scoop of ice cream is fantastic with baked apples, but for a healthier option top with a dollop of Greek or Icelandic yogurt.
Photos by Renato Ghio