I had this spontaneous inspiration to make some baked apples one night earlier this week, and I think this gorgeous tree across the street had something to do with it.
Though I dont think I have ever made baked apples before, for some reason, that’s what I envisioned when I saw the apples sitting in my fruit basket. Since the idea just so suddenly popped into my head, I was trying to figure out where I might have seen a recipe before.
It’s interesting how my brain does that. I take in quite a great deal of beautiful food photography daily, and I guess it all gets filed away somewhere. I love pinning recipe ideas to Pinterest and stuffing magazine pages into my cookbooks so that I can refer to them later, but it seems my brain alone is a pretty good recipe archive, since lo and behold I did find a few previously read related recipes in my Google Reader. I saw these posts and probably drooled a little bit over the pretty pictures before navigating away to another page. I didn’t star or pin any of these pages, but I sure remembered them.
I think that there are a few special conditions that made this instance of fantastic memory possible. I really think it is in great part the season. The fall colors all around me automatically prime my memory for some warm, syrupy, baked goodness!
It also occurred to me that I am enjoying the fall season much more than usual this year. I was trying to figure out why that might be when I remembered that this is our first fall in our current apartment. I have a much more spacious kitchen here, and the neighborhood is beautiful!
I guess I just feel more open to possibility in a place where there is light streaming through the windows (the basement windows in our last apartment so did not count), especially if it is soft, warming autumn sunlight.
These baked apples are superbly simple. Some of the recipes I read went into great detail, but it really is as simple as coring some apples, adding your favorite filling, and putting them in the oven. I let these bake as we ate dinner!
Cider Baked Apples
1/4 cup fresh apple cider
1 tablespoon maple syrup
4 medium apples (I used Red Delicious)
2 tablespoons prepared granola
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine apple cider and maple syrup in a small baking dish. You should have enough cider to just cover the bottom of the dish. Combine granola and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Prepare the apples. Slice about 1/2 inch off the top of each apple, just below the stem, and reserve. Use a small paring knife or spoon to remove the core, then place each apple in the baking dish. Fill hollowed apple cores with granola mixture, then place a small pat of butter on top and cover with reserved tops.
Bake apples for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until softened and wrinkly.
Serve with a drizzle of cider sauce from the bottom of the baking dish, and perhaps a scoop of ice cream!