Baked Apples AKA Crustless Apple Pie

I can’t believe I went so many years without baking apples. Okay, when my son Max was 6, he had an easy bake oven, and one of the recipes we made regularly in it was baked apples. We’d slice up an apple, sprinkle a little cinnamon on the two or three little pieces that would fit in the little metal dish, then bake it until soft. Mmm…

Yeah, so that doesn’t count. I have had real baked apples before, but I must have forgotten how good they were. Like Charlie said when we were eating them while watching Jaws, they taste like a crustless, gluten free apple pie. In fact, they taste so much like apple pie that my family decided to make them for Thanksgiving. Put a dollop of ice cream on top, and you’re in for an amazing dessert.

There are two ways you can make them: baked or in the slow cooker. They taste fantastic either way, but I think I prefer them in the slow cooker. That’s how we did them on Thanksgiving, and omg, even better. I would bake them again if pressed for time, but if given a choice, I would choose the slow cooker. You end up with more sauce in the slow cooker, and I even topped them with oats to give it a little bit of that crust-like chew. Unbelievable. Like, it’s the sort of thing that you moan your way through.

We’ll probably make them again for Christmas, as they have that special holiday taste.

baked apple

Ingredients

6 med-size apples–any type will do
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon (use 1/2 tsp depending on how strong your cinnamon is, then taste the mixture and add up to a tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cranberry juice, apple juice, or water
1 cup oats (optional)
6 tsp butter or margarine (optional)
vanilla ice cream for topping (optional)

1. Core your apples. We like to use our spiral slicer. It makes them easier to eat, too. Leave the peel on.

2. Mix together all ingredients from brown sugar through salt.

3. Stuff the apples with the brown sugar mixture, packing it in tightly.

For the oven recipe:

4. Pour cranberry juice over the apples, top with butter, and sprinkle oats over the whole thing. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, checking occasionally, until fork tender.

For the slow cooker recipe (very much recommended): 

4. Line crock with parchment paper for easy clean up. Pour cranberry juice over the apples, top with butter, and sprinkle oats over the whole thing. Cook on high for 2.5-3 hours, or until fork tender.

5. Serve warm a la mode (with ice cream). Spoon sauce over the top.

Believe it or not, these taste almost as good stored in the refrigerator and microwaved for 30 seconds the next day, so feel free to make more than you need.

Yum, yum, and yum. Seriously, give this a try, and let me know what you think.

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Mmmmm, I love baked apples!

These are so good. Vanilla ice cream is a definite must with these.

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