Swirls of cinnamon fill the kitchen on a cool evening as you bake fresh sweet apples to eat with cool and creamy ice cream. It sets you back into a nostalgic feeling of warm and cozy nights with the family eating apple pie, as you settle on the couch with a blanket to enjoy the warming experience of baked apples with vanilla ice cream. Even on days when you are not reminded of the past, certain odors and experiences with food can bring you back to a comforting place when things were easier. At least for me anyway.
Many people often don’t take the time to enjoy small moments with loved ones (especially with food) because they are often rushing to get things done. Being in America, it is easy to see families separated or not sitting down all together anymore for meals. I am guilty of this as well, and after a certain age it got to a point where I would eat alone in my room while doing work. In many ways food is meant as a means to survive, but it also surrounds us with different emotions like happiness or even anger and sadness.
When I have cooked something and I was upset, it was almost as if those emotions went into the food and made everything not taste as good. Then there were times where I cooked for others and wanted to achieve great taste for them to enjoy it, that I was happy doing it for them. Going to a restaurant with others and having a spread of food to share can connect you in ways that you wouldn’t really imagine. Coming together to share a common and binding thing that nourishes us is a priceless experience that no one can replicate.
So here I will share a quick and easy dessert that isn’t apple pie, but it comes pretty close with those homey flavors. I did spoon out the cores and then put in an oat mixture for added texture inside. Pairing baked soft apples with cool ice cream and having it melt together as you take a spoonful is an experience that might make you feel like a kid again. On a side note, plain baked apples are good for digestion if your stomach is bothering you so don’t hesitate to quickly cut some apples in half and bake them if you don’t have applesauce in your house ready to use.
Baked Apples with Oat Crumble and Ice Cream
Servings: 4, used two apples *one half per person
Prep Time: 45-50 minutes
- 2 large apples of your choice (granny smith and macintosh work well)
- 4 Tablespoons of butter, cut into cubes
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- half a lemon, juiced
- 2 pinches cinnamon (~ 1/4 tsp), and more for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Cut apples in half and either with a spoon or melon ball scooper (or if you have an apple corer) take out the core and seeds from the middle of each half of the apples.
- In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, oats and lemon. With your hands, cut in the butter until the mixture is combined and not dry, resembling large crumbs (like a crumble mixture).
- Divide the mixture evenly and add into the centers of each apple halve. You can add more or less depending on preference and even mound the crumb mixture on top of the apples.
- Bake for about 30 minutes covered, and then an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered to brown the crumble and until the apples are soft and the skins are wrinkly. Sprinkle additional cinnamon on top, and serve in bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.