Old-Fashioned Baked Apples

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Easier than apple pie but just as satisfying, baked apples are the perfect cozy dessert for a chilly night.

If you’re looking for a light and easy dessert that will make your house smell like apple pie, look no further than old-fashioned baked apples. Filled with brown sugar and spices, dotted with butter, then baked in boozy apple cider, baked apples are perfect for a chilly evening when you’re craving something sweet and comforting but don’t want to expend much effort. The hardest part is coring the apples, but a melon baller makes quick work of it.

The base recipe is simple, but you can easily jazz these up by adding ¼ cup each chopped nuts and dried fruit to the brown sugar mixture. The apples are best warm from the oven but cold leftovers are delicious too, and they can be served plain or topped with vanilla ice cream. For best results, use Fuji or Gala apples; they bake up nice and tender and maintain their shape without exploding out of their skins.

What You’ll Need To Make Baked Apples

ingredients for baked apples

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Using the smaller side of a melon baller or a sharp-edged measuring teaspoon, core the apples, leaving the bottom 1/2 inch of the apples intact, and remove. (Do not use an apple corer, as it’s difficult to prevent going all the way through.)

coring the apples

In a small bowl, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

brown sugar, salt, and spices in bowl

Mix until well-combined.

brown sugar mixture

Place the apples in a 2 to 2.5-qt baking dish (they should fit snugly). Spoon the brown sugar mixture evenly into the apples.

apples filled with brown sugar mixture

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the apple cider, brandy (if using), and lemon juice.

Top each apple with a chunk of butter and pour the cider mixture around the apples. The liquid should come about 1 inch up the sides of the baking dish. Add more cider if necessary.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.

Let cool for a few minutes, then carefully transfer the apples (and some of the cooking juices, if you like) to serving bowls. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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Old-Fashioned Baked Apples

Easier than apple pie but just as satisfying, baked apples are the perfect cozy dessert for a chilly night.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 baking apples, preferably Fuji or Gala
  • ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1½ cups apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Using the smaller side of a melon baller or a sharp-edged measuring teaspoon, core the apples, leaving the bottom ½ inch of the apples intact, and remove. (Do not use an apple corer, as it's hard to prevent the corer from going all the way through the apples.)
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Place the apples in a 2 to 2.5-qt baking dish (they should fit snugly). Spoon the brown sugar mixture evenly into the apples. Top each apple with a chunk of butter.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the apple cider (or juice), brandy (if using), and lemon juice. Pour around the apples. The liquid should come about 1 inch up the sides of the baking dish. Add more cider if necessary.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Let cool for a few minutes, then carefully transfer the apples (and some of the cooking juices, if you like) to serving bowls. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 apple
  • Calories: 227
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50 g
  • Sugar: 41 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 57 g
  • Cholesterol: 8 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious! It took over 50 minutes baking time for the apples to soften. No complaints as the kitchen smelled sooo good! Used small apples, too. Adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream made us swoon!

    • — Margaret on January 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thank you Jenifer for sharing your wonderful recipe for Baked Apples! Uncharacteristically I didn’t have to dash out to the grocer to have all the correct ingredients, even had the cider and cognac (Remy Martin) in my bar! The apples that I used were Pink Lady. They fit nicely in an 8 inch casserole, your recipe called for six apples, I used only four. I used your proportions for all the other ingredients except the butter which I cut to 1 tbsp. I have yet to sync our new oven and so had to bake the apples an extra ten minutes. Results were amazing, tender, sweet, serving them with French Vanilla ice cream tempered the sweetness. I made only four as I never serve guests an untried recipe, this one I will. The leftovers, reheated in the microwave were every bit as good as those hot from the oven! After I had heated them and added the ice cream I drizzled about 3/4 of an ounce of cognac over the ice cream! Bring on the dinner guests!

    • — Ronald Blondeau on January 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Oh my goodness. These baked apples are amazing! They were so good that I made them two nights in a row. At first I was worried that the Gala apples were too sweet for the recipe, but they were perfection. I have learned to trust your recipes. Thank you for another keeper, Jenn!

    • — Wendy Johnston on January 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have a strawberry huller that does a brilliant job with coring pears and apples, and the top in the middle bit that we don’t want on a tomato. I love it as it leaves such a neat and perfect hole. Very useful gadget.
    I haven’t tried these apples yet, but everything else of yours (masses of stuff) that I’ve made is 5 star worthy.

    • — Joy on January 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just saw this recipe!!! I am SO excited and can’t wait to
    make it. My mama would surprise us with
    Baked Apples on cold, winter evenings! Thank you,
    Chef Jen, for your wonderful recipes!!

    • — Barbara K. on January 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • I am not a fan of apple cider or apple juice and hate to throw any amount I do not use. Can you think of an alternative? Thank you

    • — Julie on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, Pomegranate juice would be a good alternative. Another option is water, but then you wouldn’t have the flavorful juice to spoon over the apples when you serve them. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2022
      • Reply

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