With a crisp chill in the air and a couple of rainy days under our belt, I can safely say it’s finally Fall in Los Angles. That said, I am overwhelmed by the urge to bake using autumn spices, sit by the fire, and wrap myself in a large, knitted blanket. You know the feeling? Although pumpkin pie will remain in front of my recipe index (don’t worry, that recipe will be coming soon!), I have discovered the heavenly baked apple.
I eat apples on almost a daily basis (after all, they do keep the doctor away), whether they are warmed over the stove in oatmeal, sliced to top a salad, or simply thrown into a lunch box whole. However, I often have the craving for classic apple pie with all the fixin’s! To me, that means a freshly baked, warm pie topped with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream (a very necessary addition). But consuming such a rich dessert on a regular basis leaves me sluggish, and apple pie can be complicated to bake on the fly. So, this time of year, I revert back to my same “quick-fix” recipe. I merely dice an apple, coat it with cinnamon, add a little applesauce and stevia and then, after two minutes in the microwave–voilà-instant pie filling! Although this simple recipe is delicious, I wanted to create my own variation that I could serve to my family and friends during the cooler months that looked a little prettier then warmed apples in a bowl. After scrolling through my Pinterest pages, I found my answer—baked apples.
Baked apples were never prepared in my childhood home, and I don’t recall ever eating one. My basic understanding of the dessert is that a baked apple needs some sort of crumbled filling and a pat of butter on top in order to create a caramelized topping. I knew instantly that I wanted my baked apple to scream Fall, and what is more fall than a caramel apple? So, I cored my apples, and filled them with oats, currents and autumn spices, and baked them until tender. Then I topped each adorable apple creation with my scrumptious, homemade date caramel that’s perfectly sticky and adds the right amount of sweetness. But, no, we aren’t done there—don’t forget the à la mode! Since I just happen to have this new favorite staple in my fridge, I topped the dessert with a generous dollop of coconut whipped cream. And there you have it—a leaning tour of autumn goodness. Since the dessert can only be eaten with a knife and fork, no need to keep it together—just dig right in!
Baked Caramel Apples
Serves 6 (one apple per person)
- 6 pink lady apples-cored
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup currents
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dates-soaked in water for at least 3 hours
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, and currents. Then fold in maple syrup until fully incorporated.
- Spoon the filling into the center of the cored apples and place on a greased baking dish (I prefer using coconut oil spray). Bake the apples for 35-40 minutes or until soft.
- While the apples are baking, make the caramel by blending all of the caramel ingredients.
- Serve baked apples warm with a drizzle of caramel and a big dollop of coconut whip.