Thursday, September 24, 2009

A is for Baked Apples

Full disclosure: I wanted to start with an apple pie but discovered the horrible fact that I do not own any pie pans. How in the name of god is this possible??!? Anyhoo, it threw me back on a simpler idea, which may've been for the best.

Baked Apples
The first time I had these was actually last October. My family and I were spending a week keeping the New Dungeness Lighthouse and my Aunt Cheri made us "Baked" Apples (microwaved, actually); they were wicked awesome.

Unfortunately she lives in the central time zone and I'm in pacific standard, so I didn't feel comfortable calling her for the recipe at 9:30pm my time. (Note to self: Cook earlier.) So I cobbled together a game plan from recipes at AllRecipes, Food Network and The Joy of Cooking.

Here's what I did:

3 apples
dash of bitters
dash of lemon juice
3 tsp white sugar
5 tblspns of unsalted butter
4 tsp brown sugar
shot of whiskey
2 shots of water

0.5) Preheated oven to 375 degrees

1) As mentioned in the previous post, I started with three different apples (Gala, Elstar and MacIntosh), which is a pretty solid baking no-no. I sliced the top 5th off of each and put them in a loaf pan.

***I ate the tops to get a feel for the apples at hand. My fave was the Gala, a nice balance between the other two; Elstar was sweeter, MacIn was tart-er.***

2) Dug out the core of each with a spoon. Basically worked down until just past the seeds.

3) Added a teaspoon of white sugar to the core of each apple.

4) Dashed lemon juice on the top of the Elstar, bitters on the other two.

5) Divided the butter into 3 equal-ish sized chunks and put this in the core of each apple.

6) Sprinkled enough cinnamon to somewhat cover the top of each apple.

7) Added whiskey and water to bottom of pan.
7.5) Accidentally got a little whiskey on the Elstar. Whoops.

8) Added a teaspoon and a pinch extra of brown sugar to the top of each apple.

9) Baked for thirty minutes. (Checked at twenty; not done.)

The Outcome:

I felt a bit like Goldilocks and the 3 Apples: The Elstar was too hard, the MacIn too soft (it kind of 'sploded...on the left there) and the Gala was just right. They all could've used a touch more sugar and cinnamon, but were tasty nonetheless.

What I would/will change next time:
- Use all the same apples, probably Galas. Baking is delicious but fascist; it likes uniformity.

- Make the middle holes a bit wider to a) aid in baking and b) hold more of the good stuff

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