I love baked apples, and this baked apple recipe shows you just how easy it is.
Fruit desserts seem healthier to me, even if, like this recipe, they contain some sugar (or sugar substitute).
This recipe is vegan if you use a vegan butter substitute.
See the notes below about choosing the best apples and making this recipe in the microwave.
Make it Healthier:
I always like to give you the original recipe as it was given to me, then suggest ways to change it up. In this recipe, we are going to look at the sugar. The recipe doesn’t call for much sugar, which is great, but you can still make it healthier.
You can use whatever you prefer to sweeten the baked apple recipe. Brown sugar tastes fantastic and is what the original recipe calls for, but feel free to replace that with honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, Splenda or Stevia (a wonderful natural sweetener).
I personally don’t like baking with Splenda. For some reason it makes me cough when it is baked. But Stevia works well. Be sure though if you use a powdered sweetener like Splenda or Stevia that you add just a little bit, not anywhere near the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. Both are far sweeter than real sugar and need to be used sparingly. Taste a bit of the mix before you add it to the apples to test for sweetness.
If you are counting carbs, using a sugar substitute makes a huge difference in the final carb count of these baked apples.
To make maple syrup or honey baked apples, bake the apples as above except fill the center of each apple with 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey.
- 4 apples, large, cooking variety
- 2 - 4 tablespoons brown sugar, packed, or granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 4 teaspoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Core the apples to within 1/2 inch of the bottoms. Slice the apples across the top as shown in the image above. Peel a 1 inch strip of skin around the middle or top of each apple to prevent them from spitting.
- Place the apples in an ungreased baking dish. Mix together the brown sugar, softened butter, raisins and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place 1/4 of the mixture into the centre of each apple. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon if you wish.
- Pour hot water into the baking dish until it is 1/4 inch deep. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Spoon the syrup in the dish over the apples several times during baking. Bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork.
Makes 4 servings, but the recipe is easily multiplied to serve as many as you like.
Serve these baked apples plain or topped with whipped cream or homemade vanilla ice cream. I think they are best served still warm from the oven, but they taste great cold too.
- I also add a few tablespoons of chopped walnuts or almonds to the sugar mixture. It adds a great crunch plus extra nutrition.
- You can place the sliced apple tops on top of the apples when you bake them, as in the image above. It makes a nice presentation when you serve them.
Did You Know…that some apples are baking apples and some are not?
For this recipe choose apples that are considered baking apples. They include MacIntosh, Ida Red, Courtland, Rome Beauty, Jonathan, Wealthy or Greening. You will find them by name in the grocery store or at your local farmers market.
Red delicious apples are not suitable for this recipe as they don’t cook well.
You can also bake apples in the microwave, although I really prefer baking them in the oven.
Here’s how to do it:
Prepare the apples as directed, leaving out the water. Place each apple in a 10 ounce custard cup or individual microwavable casserole. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 5-10 minutes, rotating the cups a 1/2 turn after 3 minutes (if you don’t have a microwave with a turntable), until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork.
It is really important if you are microwaving them to take some of the peel off. You don’t want the apples exploding in the microwave.
Stevia, raw organic honey, pure maple syrup and organic agave are all great substitutes for white sugar in this recipe. Whenever I can replace white sugar with a healthier alternative I do. Every little step towards better health counts!