These apples perfume the kitchen during baking and the juices result in a sweetly spiced sauce. Add a scoop of ice cream for dessert or serve the apples plain for breakfast. Or even better -- smother them with leftover eggnog as we did for our holiday feast. Decadent!
Here is a closer look at some of the apple varieties I like to use when baking. Which variety do you prefer?
These apples have been imported from New Zealand, but Americans can get them closer to home now, from Washington state. They are great baking apples because they maintain their shape well. Think Granny Smith.
If a McIntosh and Red Delicious had an apple baby, this would be the result, but the Empire is much better as a baking apple. This sweet-tart apple's skin turns a pink when cooked.
Sweet-but-mellow is the way to describe the flavor of this crisp, red-yellow apple. It is a descendent of Macoun, Golden Delicious and Haralson varieties.
These are not the best for baking because they don't hold their shape quite as well as some other varieties. But the sweet-tart flavor might be enticing enough to cook them anyway.
On the one hand, Rome apples are large, which is always a plus when baking them. On the other hand, the skin can split and become rough after cooking. But if you're looking for a tart taste, try experimenting with this variety.
This recipe uses the Sweet Seasons Spice Blend.