Recipe: Spiced Baked Apples

December 23, 2012 · 4 comments

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There are so many varieties of apples these days. Of course, you should only buy organic apples for this reason and for that reason. That limits the varieties quite a bit, but all apples are great for baking. I try to get the largest organic apples I can find. This is a simple recipe that is easy — great for company as everyone loves baked apples!

History of apples

The wild apples of ancient Asia were bitter and small. Cultivation of apples became popular in Rome and Greece and this improved the fruit.

Pliny the Elder, a Roman statesman, described 37 different varieties of cultivated apples in his Historia naturalis. By the first century apples were being cultivated in every region throughout the Rhine Valley and by the year 1640, there were 60 varieties. In 1669 the count was up to 92 varieties, and in 1866 Downing’s Fruits notes 643 different cultivars.

In America we have Johnny Appleseed. We all remember the image of him traveling the country barefoot in his overalls with his pockets filled with apple seeds along with a bag of seeds slung over his shoulder. Legend has it that he tossed these seeds randomly all over the countryside to create a country filled with apple trees.

Johnny Appleseed did actually exist. His real name was John Chapman, born in Massachusetts in 1774. He cultivated apples and started many apple nurseries that stretched from the Allegheny River in the East as far west as Ohio. His dedication to apple cultivation earned him his legendary nickname, Johnny Appleseed.

Folklore

In Medieval England, they performed an ancient fertility ritual to insure a good crop of apples. Villagers would select the largest apple tree in the orchard, and hang cider-soaked pieces of toast on its branches to attract robins. Robins were considered the good spirits of the tree. To drive away the evil spirits, the people would gather throughout the orchard and fire their shotguns. Then they poured cider over the tree’s roots and drank some themselves. This was followed by dancing around the tree with their arms linked as they chanted ancient charms.

In Cumberland, England, people would suspend apples from strings over the hearth. When the apples were fully roasted, they fell into a bowl of spiced, mulled wine that was set below. This was the forerunner to the oven-baked apple of today.

Spiced Baked Apples

Ingredients

Equipment

  • Large baking dish
  • Paring knife

Instructions

  1. Clean the apples
  2. With a paring knife cut the top in a circle so that it is a cap – leaving the stem
  3. Remove the cap and core the apples and place in the baking dish with an inch of apple cider or water in the dish
  4. Chop the cinnamon stick into pieces
  5. Place a piece of cinnamon stick and the raisins if you are using them as well as the dash of nutmeg  in each apple hole and cover with the cap
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes covered with an oven safe cover
  7. Check the apples with a knife — it should go in smoothly
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool
  9. When cool drip a little honey under the cap (this is optional as the apples are nicely sweet without additional honey)
  10. Serve with some coconut cream on top

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Easy

This post is shared at: Monday Mania, My Meatless Monday, Real Food Wednesday.Mommy Club, Thank Your Body, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, Gluten Free Friday, Freaky Friday, Friday Finds

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dana December 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm

These look beautiful! Almost like dried roses :) And the recipe looks great, love using coconut milk, yum.
-Dana

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2 Miz Helen December 31, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes with Full Plate Thursday in 2012. Wishing you and your family the very best in 2013.
Happy New Year!
Miz Helen

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3 Madeleine March 16, 2013 at 6:37 am

You inspired me to bake some apples! They were quite delish. I blogged about it and linked back to you. Thanks for the inspiration!

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4 Will February 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very
forced me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
Thanks, very nice article.

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