April 22, 2013

Cider-Baked Apples

I used up my remaining apple cider in this delicious baked apple recipe. This winter I've tried a few baked apple recipes, but this one is my favorite. My apples were not of the firm variety, as specified by the recipe, so they ended up collapsed and mushy, but still so tasty.

Cider-Baked Apples
from Food 52

2 cups apple cider
4 firm cooking apples, like Braeburn, Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 pinch salt

Heat the oven to 375°F. Pour the cider into a small skillet and bring it to a boil. Continue to boil over medium heat until the liquid reduces by slightly less than half. It should be vaguely syrupy, but it will not be too thick.

While the cider is reducing, peel the skin from the top third of each apple. Use a melon baller to dig out the apple core, leaving about 1/3-inch of the apple intact at the bottom. Place the apples in a pie pan or baking dish. Stir the cinnamon, butter and brown sugar into the cider syrup. Pour it into the apple cavities, allowing it to overflow into the baking dish.

Bake the apples for 40 to 50 minutes, until they are pleasantly soft but not collapsing. Baste the apples occasionally in the cider syrup, and add more cider if the liquid starts to dry out completely. The exact cooking time depends on the variety and size of the apples—some take longer than others. Serve the apples warm in dessert bowls with the extra syrup spooned over them. If you want to dress them up, drizzle them with some heavy cream, or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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