I’m finding baked apples to be such a comfort food, delicious and healthy. They’re great with any meal and at all times in between.
Yesterday I tried this recipe and the apples were fresh from the oven when two friends stopped by to help move some chickens. As they were climbing into their truck to leave I called out that they needed to take some apples with them. “No, we have apples on our trees.” When they realized that the apples were coming baked from the oven they changed their minds. Everyone has time for baked apples!
This version is sweet, but not too sweet. The ricotta adds some protein which makes this almost a meal in itself — a small meal or a handsome snack. A drizzle of heavy cream over the top is a nice finish, both for appearance and for flavor.
Use a variety of apple known for baking. The flavor and the texture will be better than if you use an apple that is best eaten fresh. If you have a variety that you are not sure about, try this. Peel, core and slice one apple. Fry the slices in a tablespoon of butter in a small skillet. Cook until the slices are soft. A cooking apple will have its slices intact. A non-cooking apple will have its slices turning into apple sauce. The flavor may still be fine, but the shape is gone.
Baked Apple Ingredients
- 8 medium cooking apples, washed, peeled, and cored
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- a sprinkle of sea salt
Baked Apple Steps
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a baking dish.
- Core the apples so the bottoms are still intact so that the filling stays put instead of running around in the baking dish.
- Rub the insides of the apples with lemon juice.
- Melt the butter in a small skillet and toast the almond slivers until they just begin to brown.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except the apples) to the skillet and mix thoroughly. Taste. You may want more cinnamon, a tad more salt, or a bit more lemon zest. Make adjustments to your own taste.
- Place the apples in the buttered baking dish and divide the ricotta mix among them. Depending on how large your apples are, the filling may not come to the top of each apple. No problem! The flavor will still be super.
- Bake the apples until they either begin to brown or begin to split. Different varieties of apple behave differently when they are cooked through. The ultimate test is to spear one with a small sharp knife. There should be no resistance. The cooking time varies from 45 minutes to one hour. Just keep watch.
- Allow a half hour or so for the apples to cool down before serving. The filling gets really hot.
- Serve with heavy cream, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream depending on what meal we are talking about here.
Leftovers keep well under refrigeration for at least three days, if you have any leftovers.