Lauren: Mini Baked Apples

This week we’re doing teeny, tiny things here on Cooking with Copy. Our assignment seemed easy enough. If there’s one thing Caro and I love, it’s lilliputian objects. Mini marshmallows, petite pies, teensie tacos—you name it, if it’s cute, we’re fans. I hunted down a copy of Teri Lyn Fisher’s and Jenny Park’s (of Spoon Fork Bacon) new book Tiny Food Party and prepared to make something small and delicious (like 1″-tall pop tarts).

Alas, every recipe in the book required more steps and ingredients than most regular-sized recipes! Not a fan. There is a wealth of amazing recipes in this book, but the workload required to make them is more suited to a party, where they are sure to impress, than to everyday. So I returned the book and headed to the grocery store where I discovered TINY CRIMSON GOLD APPLES!! HOW PERFECT! They were adorable little two-bite fruits and I decided I’d make them into baked apples, a recipe I’d wanted to try since high school at the suggestion of a camp friend.

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees farenheit. To prepare the apples for baking I washed them and removed the cores with my handy apple core-r. Then I peeled away any bit of skin that was brown-streaked. Next, I put them all into a square Pyrex dish mine was 9×9, but just use one large enough to hold all the apples you’re making. Then I used about 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter total to top the apples. Keep in mind I had to adjust this recipe in all sorts of ways to, in theory, work for these tiny apples. I sliced the butter off the block in the thinnest sheets I could, then split each one into two halves. I placed one half over each the hole where the core once was on each apple. For the number of apples I prepared I needed a tablespoon of butter, but you might need more or less depending on the number of apples.

Then it was time to dust the apples with fragrant cinnamon. According to the original recipe which was for regular-sized apples, 1/8 teaspoon per apple was sufficient. I started measuring out 1/8 teaspoon for each apple but because that appeared to just be as much cinnamon as would cover a tiny apple, I took the lazy route and instead started sprinkling all the apples with unmeasured amounts of cinnamon. I used 3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar to sprinkle over the top of all the apples, or as much as is needed to coat the tops, then I filled the pan with 1/4 inch of water.

Pop the dish into the oven and commence 25 minutes of baking. Be warned, these little apples are a crab apple hybrid and taste a little like they’re not meant for human consumption. While they are safe to eat, they are extremely dense and sour with a slightly different flavor than conventional apples. Due to their density you may want to cook them for more than 25 minutes, until they are tender when poked with a fork. During their time in the oven the recipe called for me to periodically spoon the syrup now in the bottom of the pan over the tops of the apples, but I didn’t do it. I suggest you do. At the very least spoon it over the apples as soon as you’ve taken them out of the oven.

Let them cool because they’re going to be balls of lava if you try to eat them immediately after removing them from the oven.

They’re cute, bite-sized, and special enough to serve at a dinner party. My only suggestion would be to buy a different variety of small apple because these were a little too crab-apple-y for my liking. Bon appétit!

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