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November 5, 2012 • Posted by Katie Marber
Now that the Halloween festivity has run its course, we are more than ready to welcome the coming of Thanksgiving. With this, certain flavors come to mind, among which, the sweet taste of apple reigns supreme for many. While this autumn fruit acts as a key ingredient in recipes for countless Thanksgiving favorites, we often do not consider the complexity of choosing which apples to snack on and which to bake with.
Yes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and this golden rule can be followed with ease when knowing the perfect type to snack on. It’s important to know the distinction between Fugi and Gala apples, which are commonly placed next to each other at the grocery store! A crisp sweet Fugi makes the perfect mid-afternoon snack, whereas the Gala is better in a dessert recipe. Sometimes known as a “designer” fruit, the Honeycrisp ranks highest in the lunchbox hierarchy due to its exceptionally crisp and sugary flavor, complemented by a harmonious trace of tartness. This awesome and fibrous snack does not, however, work best for baking.
When baking, common apple choices include Granny Smith, McIntosh, Rome, and Gala. Rome and Gala apples tend to be more mealy and grainy, making them better suited for baking. While Granny Smiths tend to be crisper than McIntosh, both flavors do wonders in baked recipes. The Granny Smith adds a tart sharpness, whereas the McIntosh more subtly complements a dish with its soft sweetness. Now that all the facts are on the table, try this Cuisinart Original Recipe for warm, sweet, delicious – plain-and-simple – Baked Apples!
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup dried cherries or cranberries
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
4 medium-large baking apples (Rome, Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Gala)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
¹∕³ cup apple juice or cider
Mix brown sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside ¼ cup sugar mix for topping. Add cherries, raisins and almonds and combine to make filling. Core apples ¾ of the way down. With a melon baller, scrape out a small cavity (about ¼ cup). Peel top ¹∕³ of the apples. Stuff some filling in each cavity. Reserve any excess filling. Place prepared apples in ceramic pot of the Cuisinart® Slow Cooker. Sprinkle remaining sugar and spice mix over tops. Dot each with ½ teaspoon butter. Pour apple juice around edges. Cover and press the on/off button to turn the unit on. Set time to 4 hours and press Low. Slow cooker will automatically switch to Warm until ready to serve. To serve, place apples on dessert plates. Top with any loose nuts and fruit. Drizzle with pan juices.* *Note: You can thicken the cooking juices to make a sauce. Carefully strain liquid into a Cuisinart® 1¾-quart saucepan; set over medium high heat and boil until reduced and thickened. Pour over apples or serve on the side.