Fall means shorter days, cooler nights, and crops of fresh apples. I live in Washington State, known for our amazing apples, and I’m a huge fan of apple crisp, tarts, and all things sweet and yummy. Nielsen-Massey combined all the best tastes of fall into a great baked apple recipe. I wrote about their amazing vanilla products earlier this year when my sister made her daughter’s wedding cupcakes, so I’ve tasted their delicious products and highly recommend them.
In this recipe, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste is combined with raisins, walnuts, and spices to create a gooey-baked apple that just screams fall. Add a dollop of real whipped cream and I’ll be in heaven!
Not sure what kind of apples to use? Granny Smiths are always my first choice because they’re readily available and hold up well during baking. They also have a nice crisp tartness that plays well against the sweetness of the filling. If you don’t have Granny Smiths, other good choices are Jonathon, Pippin, or Jonagold. They’re a bit more sweet so you may want to back off just a tiny bit on the sugar in your recipe. Gravenstein, Pink Ladies, Braeburn, and Fuji and Pink Lady Apples are nice and sturdy as well. Avoid Red and Golden Delicious, they’re better for eating. No matter which apple you choose, select the freshest available free from bruising for best results.
- 4 baking apples
- 3 tbsp. butter
- ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1-½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. allspice
- 1 tbsp. brandy
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup walnuts
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the bottom of a shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each apple so it will stand upright. Scoop out the core of each apple from the top down with the small end of a melon ball cutter, making sure not to core all the way through the apple.
- Combine the butter, brown sugar and vanilla paste in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until the butter is melted, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon, allspice, brandy, raisins, walnuts and salt. Fill the apples with equal amounts of the filling using a teaspoon. Place the apples in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until caramelized and fork tender.
About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar and Certified Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Beans. Nielsen-Massey Vanillas recently introduced a line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are Allergen-Free and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
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