That bake sale week wasn’t enough, was it? What would you all think of having an apple week?
I’ve been a bit busy, so the week is off to a late start, but we’ll do our best.
For some reason, my vision of baked apples always involves the apples robed in pastry. However, researching them online, I discovered few people share that vision. Most are apples that are peeled, not peeled, or half peeled, placed in a fall-ish looking pie plate and baked with some sort of filling. Very nice, of course, but we all know everything is better wrapped in pastry (Speaking of which, I believe I’ll have to do a puff pastry week and show you how to make the stuff, and then have a recipe for Beef Wellington. Um, it’s incredible—it’s fillet mignon wrapped in mousse pate and puff pastry. You’ll love it!).
Anyway! These baked apples are great because the other day, while scouting around in my friend’s cupboards, I discovered she had an apple peeler/slicer. So, these apples are not only stuffed with all manner of brown sugar goodness and then wrapped in dough, but are easy to cut with your fork.
cranberry almond baked apples
2 1/4 cups (350g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (65g) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (224g) cold unsalted butter
6 tablespoons ice cold water
8 small Granny Smith apples
for the filling:
3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (40g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (20g) almond flour
1 cup (80g) quick oats
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 stick (112g) unsalted room temperature butter
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup (75g) dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees celsius). In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse together flour, sugar, butter, and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse a few times until some of the butter is in small pieces, but some of larger pieces remain. Add some of the water, a little at a time, and pulse. Add in the remainder, and pulse until the dough just starts to pull together. Divide the dough in half, and knead each half just a few times to pull the dough into a cohesive ball (but handle it as little as possible). Put each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in the food processor again), mix together all ingredients for the filling except the cranberries. When filling is well incorporated, stir in the cranberries by hand.
3. Using an apple peeler/slicer machine, peel, slice and core the apples.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut each ball of dough in fourths. Roll a piece of dough out to make an 8 inch circle and place one of the apples in the center. Stuff the middle of the apple with 2-3 tablespoons of the filling and pull the dough up the sides, using water to make the dough stick and seal in the apple. Place a small amount of the filling on the top. Repeat with remaining apples and place in a large cast iron skillet or casserole dish.
5. Brush the tops of the apples with cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Sprinkle some of the leftover filling in and around the apples, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the pastry is golden brown.
And just in case you’re interested, here are a few more recipes you might try during our apple week: