It is apple season, and the markets are filled with every type imaginable. Apples are low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and have a naturally sweet yet slightly tart flavor. Seeing all those apples at the greenmarket made me long for warm baked apples, filled with cinnamon and spice. My idea was instantly met with dissent. Apparently, some feel the best part of an apple pie is the crust.
This week’s Unrecipe shows an exercise in compromise. I got my baked apple, they got their piecrust, and all is right in the world; for the time being.
Stuffed Baked Apples with a Lattice Top:
Core the apples, gently scooping out the centers to create a well. This can be done with an apple corer, or by cutting a hole in the top of the apple with a paring knife, and using a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds and core.
In a separate bowl, mix together about ½ cup each of oatmeal and brown sugar, depending on how many apples you wish to stuff. Add a liberal amount of cinnamon, and a little nutmeg, ground cloves, ginger and allspice. You can also add nuts or raisins at this stage if you like. Spoon the mixture into the well of the apple, pressing down with your finger to pack it in tightly. Dot each apple with a pat of butter.
Place the apples in an ovenproof dish and fill it with about 1” of water. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. At this point, the kitchen will smell heavenly!
While the apples are baking, prepare the crusts using a simple pate brisee:
Mix together 1 stick of butter, 1-½ cups of flour, a pinch of salt and a little sugar.
Once the ingredients are mixed, begin adding ice water (it should take about 4 tablespoons) until the dough comes together into a ball. For more complete instructions and piecrust tips, click HERE.
Roll out the dough on a floured cloth or parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into long strips. Weave the strips into a lattice pattern and cut the lattice into circles just large enough to fit over the top of the apples. Lay the lattice disks out on parchment paper, and refrigerate.
Remove the foil from the apples. Brush the lattice disks with an egg wash, and sprinkle them with sugar. Gently set them on top of the apples, and press down lightly to make sure they adhere. Place the open pan back into the oven, and bake for another 25 minutes or so, until the tops are golden brown, and the apples are soft, but still intact.
If you wish to skip the crust, and just make the baked stuffed apples, just omit the crust and return them to the oven uncovered. If the apples seem dry, add some more butter, or pour a bit of maple syrup over them before returning them to the oven.
Serve alone, or with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy!
photos: indigojonesnyc instagram (check it out for in-process photos all the time!)
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