7 Things to Remember When Making Baked Apples in the Microwave

published Oct 22, 2019
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In the hierarchy of apple desserts, tender, stuffed baked apples are near the top of my list. The sweet fruit melts in your mouth, and the brown sugar- and cinnamon-spiked filling is, well, everything I crave in a fall dessert. And best of all, you can make this sweet treat in the microwave and it’s ready in mere minutes.

Okay, okay, so when microwaved, they’re technically not baked apples anymore. But whatever you want to call it, this ultra-fast version has everything there is to love in a fall treat. Here’s what you need to know about making “baked” apples in the microwave.

1. Use firm apples, roughly the same size.

Anytime you’re making more than one “baked” apple in the microwave, you’ll want to use apples that are roughly the same size. This ensures that they all cook evenly and are done at the same time. And just as with traditional baked apples, you’ll want to stick with firm apples, like Honeycrisp, Jonagold, or Cortland. Those hold their shape best, without collapsing into applesauce when cooked.

2. Decide how to prep them.

When it comes to how you’ll prep and serve the apples, you can leave them whole and core the center of the fruit, or cut the apples in half lengthwise and scoop out the core that way. The benefit of halving the apples means an even speedier cook time, although the whole apples (as in the photo, above) look very nice.

3. Cover the baking dish.

Just as with the oven-baked version, you should put the apples in a baking dish just large enough for the quantity you’re cooking (one which will fit in the microwave and isn’t made of metal, of course), and add some water to the bottom of the dish — about 1/4 cup per apple. You’ll also want to completely cover the baking dish with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, so the apples don’t dry out. Then cook on high power for 6 to 10 minutes for whole apples.

4. Increase the cook time when you use more apples.

When making “baked” apples in the microwave, it’s just as easy to make one as it is to make four. But remember that the more apples in the baking dish, the longer the cook time. Microwaves also vary in strength, so the total cook time can vary. If you’re unsure, check them every few minutes by poking a paring knife in, and seeing how easily it goes through.

5. Don’t expect crunchy bits.

The lack of dry, hot air circulating around the apples as they cook in the microwave means that the bits of oat filling that peek out of the apples won’t crisp the way they would in the oven. This is the biggest difference with making baked apples in the microwave. But you won’t miss it, because instead you gain a wonderful sauce in the bottom of the making dish!

6. Do make the most of the sauce.

Who needs crunchy bits when your dessert makes it own sweet sauce? Remember that thin layer of water added to the baking dish for cooking? It gets mixed with juice pulled from the apples, plus a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar, during cooking and cooks into a delicious, sweet sauce. Spoon it over the apples just before serving.

7. Toast nuts separately (and add after).

Toasted nuts, like walnuts and pecans, can make a delicious addition to baked apples. When making this dessert in the microwave, wait until after cooking and sprinkle the nuts on top. Otherwise they’ll lose their crunch and become soft when microwaved.