Taste Canada: Baked Stuffed Apples from Fast Flavours

Excerpted from Fast Flavours. Copyright © 2012 Michael Smith. Published by Penguin Canada. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Baked Stuffed Apples

bakedapples-300.jpgIt takes mere minutes to get this simple treat into the oven. Just fix and forget, and when you remember, you'll be rewarded with lots of cinnamon-scented baked-apple flavour! Serves 4 to 6

6 or 8 of your favourite apples
½ cup (125 mL) of butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) or so of any rolled oats
½ cup (125 mL) of brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Turn on your convection fan if you have one.
Rest each apple on its side and neatly slice off the top 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) or so. The stem will fall out.

Reserve the little apple hats. With an apple corer, pierce each apple and punch out the seeds. Nestle the apples tightly together in a baking dish.

With your fingers rub together the butter, oats, sugar, and cinnamon, working the mixture
until it's combined and crumbly. Evenly divide the mixture among the apples, filling their centres and mounding the rest on top. Replace the little tops on the apples.

Bake until the apples are heated through, collapse a bit, and taste delicious, about 45 minutes, depending on the apple type. Serve and share with lots of vanilla ice cream.

Speed it up

You can turn up the oven's heat and the apples will bake faster, but above 350°F (180°C) you'll run the risk of burning the sugar. You can also use your microwave to dramatically speed up this treat. The results are not quite the same as with baking -- no browning occurs in the microwave -- but delicious nonetheless.