Meet Hasselback apples, the most impressive dessert you have to bake this fall. Crisps, crumbles, pies, and baked apples are all fine, but this is the one that really stands out in a crowd.
Firm, sweet apples open like a fan, allowing the cinnamon and brown sugar streusel to sink between each slice. Why not go all out and top this holiday-ready treat with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?
Like a Baked Apple, but Even More Impressive
If you love baked apples, or any dessert that involves cooked apples for that matter, then Hasselback apples should be on your must-make list. They work just as well for a weeknight treat as they do for a dinner-party dessert.
Choosing the Best Apples
When it comes to baking apples — especially with this dessert, where structure is so important — not every variety will work. Hasselback apples work best with very firm apple varieties, like Honeycrisp and Pink Lady. These apples are sturdy enough to hold their shape during baking, whereas other varieties — such as Cortland or McIntosh — will cook down too much during baking, leaving the thin apple slices to disintegrate and fall flat. The larger, the better. It's one more way to make this dessert even more impressive.
Read more: The Best Apples for Baking
Cutting the Apples
What makes this dessert really stand out are the slices over the top of the apple that cause it to fan out after baking.
For the best results, cut slices about 1/4-inch apart. Even very firm apples will cook down a little bit during baking, and when the slices are too thin, they begin to melt into each other, leaving the apple more droopy than fan-like.
How To Make Hasselback Apples
Makes 2 apples
What You Need
unsalted butter, divided
packed brown sugar, divided
ground cinnamon, divided
large, firm apples, such as Honey Crisp or Pink Lady
Ice cream and caramel sauce, for serving (optional)
Small saucepan (optional)
Small baking dish
Heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Melt the butter. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and cool. Add 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and stir to combine; set aside.
Prepare the apples. Peel the apples, then cut each in half through the stem. Use a melon baller or spoon to remove the apple cores.
Cut slices in the apples, leaving the bottom intact. Place the apples cut-side down on a cutting board. Cut parallel slices into the apple, 1/4-inch apart, stopping just before you cut through the bottom. (This keeps the slices connected at the bottom of the apple.)
Brush the apples with the melted butter and sugar. Brush the reserved butter mixture over top of the apples and between the slices.
Bake the apples for 20 minutes. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray. Place the apples in the baking dish, flat-side down. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the streusel.
Make the streusel. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into cubes. Place in a small bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, flour, oats, and a pinch of salt. Use your fingers or a fork to blend the ingredients together to form moist clumps.
Top the apples with streusel. After the apples have finished baking, remove the baking dish from the oven and uncover. Use a fork to carefully sprinkle the streusel over top of the apples, working the streusel between the slices as well.
Increase the oven temperature and continue baking. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F. Place the baking dish back in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes more.
Cool the apples. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Cool the apples for about 5 minutes before serving. Top with ice cream and caramel sauce if desired.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.