We were not able to get pumpkins this year so I thought this twist on this delicious dessert could be a good substitute. My family makes baked apples all the time when it's cold outside. These warm, cinnamon infused apples make an amazing fall dessert whether or not you carve a face into them.
Step 1: Supplies
- Brown Sugar
- Butter - about a half a tablespoon per apple (or a whole tablespoon if your like me and love butter)
- Apples, I used mcintosh apples because they have a really nice flavor and are already pretty soft so they didn't need to go in the oven for too long. The longer the apples are in the oven the more deformed the face will be. Other types of apples will work too, you might just have to adjust baking time
- A sharp knife
- A spoon
- A casserole dish ( any kind of baking pan with sides should work)
Step 2: Prepare Apples and Stuffing
First make sure you wash and dry the apples.
In a small bowl mix together cinnamon and brown sugar. For my four apples used about a third of a cup of brown sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. You can add more or less cinnamon or brown sugar depending on your tastes.
Next, the apples need to be cored. This is the most difficult part because you want to make sure you do not cut all the way to the bottom of the apple while also removing all the seeds. To do this I used the knife and cut around the top of the apple with the knife angled inwards so when I pulled the core out, it was a kind of pyramid shape. (Be extra careful doing this because the knife can poke through the apple. Don't hold the apple by the bottom for this part.) I then used the spoon to scrape out any remaining seeds. It is not a big deal if you end up poking through the bottom of the apple, I did that a lot with my first few.
Step 3: Carve the Faces
For this part just use your imagination and carve what ever face or image you want into the sides of the apples. Be sure not to cut all the way into the now hollow center. Once again, cut at an angle so you only make a shallow hole. Also keep in mind that the apples are going to shrivel and probably crack, so anything too complicated or detailed might not come out perfect.
Step 4: Stuff the Apples
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line your chosen baking pan with foil then place the apples in the pan and make sure they are not touching
Split up the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly between the apples and stuff each apple with it. Don't pack down the mixture too much. Next, take a dollop of butter and plop it on top. Squish this down just enough so that it doesn't stick up over the top.
Now, the apples are ready for the oven!
Step 5: Bake the Apples
Put the baking dish with the apples in your preheated oven. Mine took about 30 minutes but this can change depending on the type of apple used (firmer apples might take closer to 40 minutes). Watch for the apples to start shriveling and losing their color once they do this you'll know they are close to finished. Take them out and poke them with a fork or knife about mid way down the center hole of the apple. If it slides right in with no resistance you apples are ready, if not they might need another five minutes or so. How well done you want your apples is up to you. If you want them to have a bit of a crisp left, take them out early; if you'd rather something closer to apple sauce, leave them in a bit longer. (I can't guarantee the quality of your carving if you go the apple sauce route, but I can guarantee it tastes awesome :P)
Step 6: Finished Apples
Top the apples with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream and you now have spooky Jack O' lantern baked apples!
If you did poke through the bottom while hollowing them out (like I did on a few), most of the butter sauce probably leaked out. I just scooped it out of the pan and poured it over top of the apples once I put them in separate bowls.
There are plenty of other things that you can try stuffing your apples with such as caramel or chocolate chips. I'm sure there are lots of other things too that would taste amazing stuffed in these.
I hope you like these spooky apples and if you have any more ideas of what they can be stuffed with feel free to mention them in the comments!