As un-American as it may sound, I've never been a big fan of apples. So when I got some in my E.A.T. South CSA bag, I was at a loss for what to do with them. I can't throw away food (you'd think I lived through the Great Depression or something), and they were particularly pretty specimens harvested from the orchards at Petals from the Past in Jemision, Ala., so they were going to be eaten. But how?
While others relish apples' firm flesh, enjoying every crisp-crunch bite into a really good one, it's this texture that put me off the fruit in the first place. So, I decided to try baked apples, knowing that some heat would soften them. Since cinnamon is a common cooked-apple accompaniment, and another thing that's not on my list of favorites, I searched for an additional flavor to amp up the spice. And I'm always looking for new ways to use honey. The result is this recipe that puts a little twist on the traditional baked apple. It's easy to make and tastes like fall. Added bonus: Your kitchen will smell heavenly for hours after you've devoured the dish.
Baked Apples with Honey
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Leave each apple whole and use an apple corer or melon baller to remove the core. Don't cut all the way through; leave the bottom intact so there is a well where the core was. Cut a small slit around the circumference of the apple, being careful not to cut too far in. (I'm not sure if this is necessary or not, but internet research claimed it would keep the apples from bursting in the oven and better safe than sorry when it comes to exploding fruit.)
Mix the cinnamon, ginger and honey in a small bowl. Place the apples in a baking dish. Rub 1/2 tablespoon of the butter over the outside of each apple. Place 1/2 tablespoon of butter down inside each apple, and then pour half the honey mixture in each well, drizzling a bit of it on top of each apple.
Bake the apples for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. To serve, place each in a shallow bowl and top with vanilla ice cream or a bit of Greek yogurt sweetened with additional honey.