Monday, October 5, 2015

baked apples with oat crumble.

If I had to guess, I'm pretty sure you are thinking baked apples are about as boring as it gets. Especially when it's fall and you can have your apples nestled in a buttery crust under a layer of crumble (a la apple pie).
But I'd like to make a case for the baked apple. 

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I to would have quickly dismissed the baked apple as a wannabe apple crumble pie. The baked apple is for people who are trying to be "healthy".  But then, while perusing my latest cookbook acquisition, I stumbled across a recipe for baked apples, and something in me said you must go into the kitchen right now and make this.  And so I listened to that little voice (it also didn't hurt that I had all the supplies on hand) and an hour later our kitchen smelled like heaven.   

These baked apples are so incredible that I have begun to wonder why anyone would ever want pie again. Personally I think softened apples baked under a layer of crunchy, spiced, oat crust is the way to go.  Especially when cooked in apple cider because (and here is the kicker) as the apples cook, the apple cider thickens creating an apple-cider-esq caramel.  It is life-changing. And I will happily take apple-cider like caramel over a buttery crust any day.     

Baked Apples with Oat Crumble
Adapted from Huckleberry

I made a couple of small changes.  Swapping the apple juice for cider (because cider is about a billion times better then juice) and also adding some ground ginger to the dish because I basically love ground ginger and apples.  I don't think a pinch of cloves would be a bad thing as well.  Don't feel you need to save these for dessert, they would make for an incredible brunch option as well.   

For the Oat Topping

¾ cup/170 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup/120 g whole-wheat flour
2 ¼ cups/115 g rolled oats
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon maple syrup
½ cup + 2 tablespoon/140 g brown sugar

For the Apples

6 apples halved and cored (peel if desired) – Try and go for a tart apple
4 tablespoon /55 g unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ¾ cups/410 ml apple cider

Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C. 

To make the crumble: Combine the butter, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, whole-wheat flour, oats, salt, honey, and brown sugar in a bowl and blend with your fingertips until homogeneous. Refrigerate until needed.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Pour the apple cider into a 9 1/2-by-13 1/2-in/24-by-34-cm baking dish, then fit the apples in snugly, cut-side up. Cover with foil.

Bake until the apples are soft, about 1 hour. As different varieties have different bake times, be sure to give them a poke to see if they’re ready.

Remove the foil and top the apples with the crumble. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F/220°C and bake until the topping is nice and brown, about 20 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

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