So it’s apple season in upstate New York and if you buy even a fraction of the bounty of freshly picked apples that are everywhere this time a year, you’ve probably acquired more than you can choke down. Speaking for my own refrigerator and filled to capacity shelf space (we even started displaying a motherlode of Jona Golds on the dining room hutch because the kitchen table was laden to capacity) we officially have more than we’re able to eat in their raw, crunchy, and oh-so-fibrous state.
So what’s a Recovering American to do? Not bake a pie, of course. I mean, pies have their place, but they’re not really early-morning fare. Instead, I turn to the handy confines of a covered ceramic casserole dish. It sounds too simple to believe, but this unassuming vessel bakes apples to such a sweet and juicy perfection, you just may forget about doing pies ever again. And the modest calorie count coupled with the cleansing, energizing results of fruit in the morning on an empty stomach could further sway your opinion on the P-Word.
The one caveat I have to throw out there is, this dish isn’t an instant one. In other words, I know you weren’t thinking about using a microwave…right? If you’re pressed for time because of heading to the office (which I sometimes am, even though I work from home) simply bake them the night before. They’re fine in a cooled off oven overnight. That way all they require the next morning is 5 or 10 minutes at 300 degrees (depending on the size of your casserole dish).
Baked apples are a one of the most delicious things to come out of our oven since gluten-free lasagna. Hope you try it. The recipe’s enticingly simple:
Baked Apples (serves two)
Four large or medium-sized apples or five smaller ones
Optional: a few dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven t0 340 degrees. Slice apples into disc-like slices, cutting around the core (if you live in a suburban setting, reserve cores for the squirrels – they LOVE ’em). The shape of the slices really doesn’t matter because the fruit alchemizes into a chunky applesauce by the time it’s done. Arrange slices in layers in the casserole dish. If desired, sprinkle layers with spices. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Shut oven off and let apples sit in the oven another ten minutes. Remove and scoop into bowls. Enjoy!