My recipe for baked apples recreates a regular and favourite dessert from when I was a child. We had a large Bramley apple tree in the back garden, which fruited generously and provided apples to eat through the winter months. Just a few minutes of preparation, then after just under an hour in the oven you have a delicious and pretty healthy dessert.
Top with freshly made custard or a good quality vanilla dairy ice cream for a taste that is hard to beat.
Step 1: Ingredients
For each person:
1 good sized Bramley apple (or other large apple that cooks without losing its flavour)
About 1 dessert spoonful of dried fruit - raisins, currants, candied peel, dates, cranberries etc - use what you like
1 teaspoon demerara sugar - really any brown sugar will do
ground mixed spice or cinnamon or allspice - mix with the dried fruit as you stuff the apples
Calvados or apple brandy - pour a small amount over each apple after stuffing but before sprinkling with sugar.
Step 2: Preparation
Preheat the oven to 150C, 300F, GM2. You can go as hot as 180C, 350F, GM4, but you will need to reduce the cooking time, and maybe cover the apples with some aluminium foil to stop them burning.
Core the apples and place them in a shallow oven proof dish.
Remove the pits from the dates (if you are using whole ones)
Stuff the holes in the apples with the dried fruit and/or dates
Stud each apple with a whole clove
Make about 6 radial cuts around the top of each apple
Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on each apple.
Pour water into the dish to a depth of about 1/4" to 1/2".
Step 3: Cook
Put the dish of apples into the oven for about 45 to 50 minutes (less if the oven is hotter than 150C/300F/GM2)
Meanwhile make some custard to accompany them, or make sure you have some good vanilla ice cream, cream or whatever you like to pour on a hot dessert.
When the apples are soft right through remove the dish from the oven and let it stand for about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Serve
Place each apple into a dessert bowl, scoop up some of the juicy liquid from the dish and pour it around the apple. Top with custard or ice cream etc.