There’s nothing too complicated to baking apples into a sweet, satisfying dessert. You really can’t go wrong with just apples and brown sugar! The apples soften into a spoonable treat while the brown sugar melts down into a caramel syrup.
We like adding oatmeal to our baked apples for the texture and mild flavor. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves add warmth and a boost of flavor. Feel free to add your own extras to suit your tastes and mood.
Oh, and by the way, leftovers make a fantastic breakfast!
Oatmeal-Brown Sugar Baked Apples
1/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon butter, divided in four
1 cup hot water
Optional Extras: orange zest, lemon zest, grated ginger, raisins or other dried fruit, chopped nuts
Pre-heat oven to 375-degrees.
Remove the core of the apples, cutting to within a half inch of the bottom of the apple. This is easy to do with an apple corer, but can also be done with a melon baller, grapefruit spoon, or a paring knife. The idea is to create a well inside the apple about 3/4 inch wide.
Mix the brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and any extras in a bowl. Divide this mixture between the apples and pack it into the wells.
Arrange the apples in a baking dish (an 8x8 Pyrex dish works well), and top each one with a pat of butter. Pour the water into the bottom of the dish and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Bake for 20 minutes and remove foil. Continue baking uncovered until the apples are baked through and the brown sugar has melted into a syrup, an additional 20-30 minutes.
Test for doneness by poking a knife into the apple through the center well. It should slide easily with no resistance. The skin on the apples will also become wrinkled and soft by the end of cooking.
Serve with a scoop of ice cream, creme fraiche, or whipped cream.
(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)