Baked apple

My father’s greatest love (beside his wife and children) is his garden. It is a wondrous place. From the kitchen window (the heart of the house) the garden beckons you. It sort of mirrors the kitchen in a way. There are no perfect flower beds in my Dad’s back yard, rather a deliberate wilderness of fruit and vegetables, trees and shrubs, long stretches of lawn and swings and slides that have now become our childrens’ playground. At the top of the garden, the Northern Line railway runs its last course north to High Barnet.

Autumn was the most magical of times. The trees gave us their fruit and my mother made good use of them in the kitchen. What was left on the ground became mouldy bombs that we hurled at unsuspecting commuters reading the late papers on their way home, moving far too fast in their trains to notice where the splat originated. A beautiful thing it was for a boy aged 11.

The most imposing tree in the garden was the one which gave us Bramley cooking apples. It produced each year in such abundance that it kept us in apples until Spring. Anyway, of all the things my Mum made us, baked apple (from the Bramley tree) was my favourite. I am not sure if I have it right here — Ma, if you ever get to read this, please correct any errors — but I remember it being as simple as this.


  • 1 large cooking apple per person
  • Brown sugar
  • Raisins (optional)


  • Baking tray
  • Small knife


  1. Remove the core from the apple. Work your way in from the top and get as much of the inedible middle bit as possible. My mum would always be in a hurry (she had a lot of mouths to feed) so I am sure she went all the way through. That’s fine.
  2. Place the apple on a greased or lined baking tray.
  3. Fill the hole where the core was with brown sugar.
  4. Heat in a medium oven until the skin starts to split and you can pass a knife easily through the flesh of the apple.

What you should know

The brown sugar will caramelise and run all over the tray. Scoop up as much of the goo as possible and pour over the apple.

I recall she added raisins when we had guests. I didn’t like them so much then (probably would love it now though). It seemed unnecessary at the time. I loved the fact that the apple kind of melted in your mouth and slipped down the throat like toffee. Raisins required chewing (or, in my case, swallowing whole).

a simpler no-fail version

While studying in the fall/winter months in Canada, I found an even easier way for making a similarly warm treat in the microwave.

Even though you might cringe at nuking apples, the finished product was pretty tasty:

  • halve the apple
  • remove the hard bits in the middle
  • keep the skin
  • sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top
  • microwave for a couple of minutes or so and voila!

My flatmate and I would just spoon the warm gooey apple stuff right out of the skin!

Re: a simpler no-fail version

Re: Baked apple

Try this for filling the core: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, and chopped pecans. I always dot the top with butter because as this melts and incorporates with the sugar and gives a beautiful caramel flavor.

If you want something spicy and sweeter: fill core with small chewy cinnamon candies, sprinkle with a little ginger, and top with buttter.

Re: Baked apple

John, I love this suggestion. My mum has promised to have baked apples on the table when I see her in November. I am going to suggest we try this version too. Thanks!

Re: Baked apple

Oh David, you miss out some crucial points. First, I had an apple corer that removed the core in one fell swoop. I never went all the way through. Keeping the bottom of the apple intact meant that more of the juices were retained. I also reserved the ‘hat’ of the apple and placed it delicately back on the fruit after it had been stuffed. I cut a score around the circumference which caused the skin to fold back during the cooking process revealing the succulent fruit. You loved using a teaspoon to work your way into the apple from this point. Also, I used raisins more often than not, and cinnamon. Apart from these glaring ommisions, yours is not a bad recipe! Did you really throw apples at the trains!

Sounds great i will

Sounds great i will definitely try this but i wanted to know instead of brown sugar can’t we use normal sugar or honey.

Re: Sounds great i will

Yes. Adjust to taste