Monday, October 12, 2015

Bourbon Hasselback Apples

Well, it's the first official recipe of fall!  I wanted it to be pumpkin, but there's plenty of time for that yet.  I saw a very simple version of this recipe in Cooking Light magazine in September, but I knew the apples could be so much...more.  And none of this chintziness with the ingredients.  This is dessert, people.  Eat your salad for dinner, but when you're talking sweets, go big or go home.  I say it makes 8 servings, so that's half an apple per person.  Your mileage may vary.

Bourbon Hasselback Apples

4 large, firm Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and halved vertically
Cooking spray
1 cup packed dark brown sugar, divided
10 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
⅜ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅜ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Maker’s Mark bourbon
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Starting at the outermost edges, cut most (but not all) of the way through each apple half at ⅛-inch intervals. Place apple halves, cut sides down, in a 9x13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine ¼ cup brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, and bourbon; brush mixture evenly over apples.

Cover baking dish with foil; bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove dish from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Combine the remaining ¾ cup brown sugar, remaining 6 tablespoons butter, remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, oats, flour, and salt. Carefully fan open apple halves. Spoon oat mixture evenly over apples. Bake for 10 more minutes. Turn broiler to high (with dish still in oven) and broil 2 minutes. Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream or with cream just poured over top.

Makes 8 servings

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