A Bakers & Best Thanksgiving: Cider Baked Apples
And so, one week after I decided on a whim to make a Thanksgiving dinner, we reach the end of the blog recap. I suppose I could have gone the route of Hollywood directors these days and split up this final post into several parts. First there would be ‘Cider Baked Apples Part 1’, followed a year later by ‘Cider Baked Apples Part 2, the Re-cidering’. But why keep you waiting when we all know the ending anyways: these apples are the perfect way to finish off a meal.
I had been wanting to try a baked apple dish since last winter but knew I would have to wait until the fall for it to be acceptable. I put these in to bake just as we sat down to dinner and about 15 minutes after we finished eating they were done. While you eat the kitchen fills with the smell of warm spiced cider and serves as a reminder to save some room for these.
Like the other recipes I’ve posted about this week, this is a relatively simple recipe with incredible flavors. I did find that this one required more self control while making it, similar to the bread stuffing. With the bread stuffing I had a giant bowl of toasted Zingerman’s baguette pieces sitting on the counter while I diced and cooked the veggies. In the end I probably only ate about 1/4 of a baguette, so I’d call it a success.
You’ll notice the recipe for these apples says you need just 2 cups of cider. You do, but don’t make the mistake I did and just buy 2 cups. I bought a pint of cider at the farmer’s market on Saturday morning and then spent two days opening the fridge wanting to drink it. It was torture! Yes, I know I could have just gone and bought some more, but that is the thinking of a rational mind.
So I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat wondering, did I make it? Well I will say this, you can make this recipe just as well with 1.5 cups of cider, not 2.
There has been a great response from people this week following these recipes, so thank you for reading! I had a great time making and writing about them, and I hope a few find their way to your Thanksgiving table. Enjoy!
- 2 C apple cider
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 baking apples (Cortland, Braeburn, Empire, Pink Lady)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp AP flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp butter, cubed
- ½ C chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- In a small pot bring apple cider to a boil and add vanilla extract. Turn down to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the cider has reduced by about half. Take off the heat and set aside.
- Cut the tops off each apple (set them aside) and using a sharp knife remove the core. Make sure to leave a bit of the bottom of the apple intact, since you do not want the filling to spill out the bottom. Place apples in a baking dish and drizzle the lemon juice on top.
- To make the filling mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Incorporate the butter using a fork and mix until everything is well combined. Add the nuts to complete the mixture.
- Fill each apple with the filling and place the apple tops back on. Pour the reduced cider into the baking dish.
- Bake the apples for 40-50 minutes, basting with the cider every 10 minutes. Serve warm.