Saturday, April 24, 2010

Apple Explosion

I've had three Granny Smiths sitting in my fruit bowl ever since I bought far more than I needed for the blueberry jam I made about a month ago. Luckily, they keep quite well, but I've been meaning to use them for something.

Last night seemed like a good time to make baked apples (p207), or, more accurately, a baked apple, since I only made one. Pretty simple really - peel one-third of the apple, core it, and fill it with a mixture of brown sugar, butter (or in this case, canola spread) and sultanas.

In hindsight, the next instruction is a little odd, but it didn't strike me so at the time: "Place apples in an ovenproof dish. Add enough water to come 2cm up dish." I think the last time I baked an apple was probably in manual cooking class back in primary school, but I'm pretty sure they weren't soaking in water at the time. However, I put the water in as per the recipe and put the dish into my little toaster oven to bake.

30 minutes later, I took the lid off and was surprised at the result. The skin had come away from the flesh of the apple, which had sort of exploded from the inside, at least as much as was possible in the enclosed oven dish. I ate it anyway, and it was ok: the flesh of the apple was nice enough, but the filling didn't have much flavour, since the sugar and 'butter' had all leaked out into the water.

I mused over this result for a time and decided that while the instructions don't actually read that way, it's possible that the oven dish containing the apple(s) is supposed to be in a second container, which is where the water goes. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I wonder if there's a missing clause in that particular recipe. It's certainly ambiguous as it stands.

With this theory in mind, and still 2 more Granny Smiths in the fruit bowl, I made another attempt. This time I placed my oven dish in a waterbath instead of putting the water directly into the dish with the apple. And the result? A baked apple as opposed to a poached one. Mine was slightly underdone, but it was still lovely: soft flesh and sweet fruity filling. I'd say that the waterbath is definitely intended, it's just not very clear in the recipe.


  1. Yay found my old Edmonds book 1974.Both it and 1986 issue call them Baked Apples de luxe.They add full cream milk powder to the butter and brown sugar to make a thick creamy paste and add chopped walnuts,sultanas, raisins or coconut.Then bake slowly in a little water at 160C. Tops must be golden brown before serving.
    It would seem they are actually cooked in the water.Does seem weird though.c

  2. Woohoo you didn't chuck it out then? Just spent an afternoon with Nana looking at all her old cookbooks - way interesting!

    Cooked in the water eh? Weird. Maybe it's just that I had the lid on - that wasn't in the recipe. I just did it so it wouldn't burn in the small oven.


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