Duvet Apples & Frosty Mornings!
Festive Baked Apples with Mincemeat and Honey
Walks to the hen-house crackle with frosted leaves and frozen grass now and a cheeky little wind plays havoc with my dressing gown, as I am never dressed when I make the mad dash to the end of the garden at “silly o’clock” in the morning! Our garden trees are hanging on to a few of their leaves still, like elderly ladies hanging on to their bonnets, and their branches aren’t completely undressed just yet. Vegetables and herbs sparkle with frosty patterns and the bird table displays a frosted roof, whilst the feathered diners hop around the base searching for seeds that may have escaped. I have always loved my early morning walks to let the chickens out – I enjoy the solitude and beauty of our early morning garden – but I admit to lingering in bed for just a few minutes more lately, and whilst I battled my way down to let the ladies out this morning I had visions of fluffy pillows and plump duvets dancing in my head. It’s a duvet cooking type of day today, and as autumn gives in the winter, my thoughts turn to baked dumplings and casseroles, as well as steamed puddings and the best baked dessert of all, baked apples.
Baked apples are a dessert from my childhood; it was my favourite pudding and mum always used to bake them with mincemeat, or in the absence of mincemeat, dried fruit and nuts mixed with brown sugar, mixed spice and sometimes golden syrup. We also used to have them for a supper dish, after a simple tea of toast or bead and butter with jam……it sounds very frugal now, but we never left the table hungry and the bread was always home-made, as was the jam. We always ate a lot of fruit, and I always had fruit in my lunch box. I totally approve of fruit at work, and last year I was happy to review an Office Fruit Box from FruitDrop – you can read all about it here: Fresh Fruit for the Office with Fruitdrop, The Quince Tree and Baked Orchard Fruits with Vanilla and Honey. So, when FruitDrop contacted me recently and asked me if I could like to develop a recipe for them, using fruit, I was pleased to accept, given that I still eat fruit every day as well as cook and bake with it.
Today’s recipe is based on my mum’s mincemeat baked apples, and is made with my own home-made mincemeat, Traditional Boozy Mincemeat with Apples. As you will see from the title of my mincemeat recipe, it’s also made with apples and is fat-free for a light and lower calorie mincemeat. I used cooking apples for this recipe last time I made it, but you can use ANY apples you wish, and eating apples such as Russet, Coxes Orange Pippins and Gala apples are particularly good when baked. I just prefer cooking apples, such as Bramley, Blenheim Orange and Newton Wonder, as they burst open during cooking to reveal their fluffy apply interior! Although the mincemeat has sugar in it, you still need a drizzle of honey (or golden syrup) over the top to sweeten the recipe up a notch.
My new baked apple recipe is shared below, and I have also popped my recipe for home-made mincemeat in too, as it is the season to make merry and mincemeat! And, as for FruitDrop, I am still happy to endorse their delivery service a year on, especially as they source all of their produce from local markets and pack the fruit boxes by hand to ensure you get the freshest fruit. I also think that their pricing is highly competitive and they are happy to tailor the service to your budget – I know I was very impressed with the quality and choice I received last year. That’s it for today, I will be back over the weekend with some new PUDDING recipes and other daily thoughts…….have a fabulous Friday, and see you soon! Karen
NB: With thanks to Jeff, who provided me with these beautiful Bramley apples!
Festive Baked Apples with Mincemeat and Honey
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||1 hour|
|Total time||1 hour, 15 minutes|
|Meal type||Dessert, Snack|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot|
|Occasion||Casual Party, Christmas, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 4 large apples (eating apples or cooking apples such as Bramleys)
- 8 tablespoons home-made mincemeat (preferably fat-free)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons honey
Delectable baked apples filled with mincemeat and honey - these fruity baked apples would make a great alternative to Christmas pudding for pudding haters, or for a filling and comforting dessert for Sunday lunch or a mid-week family meal.
|Step 1||Core the apples with an apple corer and make a hole big enough for the filling; then score around the middle of the apple with a sharp knife, to stop them bursting whilst cooking - although cooking apples may still burst.|
|Step 2||Fill each hole with the mincemeat, dot each apple with a little butter and then place the apples into an oven dish or a roasting tray. (I used individual Le Creuset cast iron casserole pots for mine)|
|Step 3||Pour the lemon juice over the apples and then spoon the honey over each apple. Add a little water to the dish to stop the juices burning and caramelising, and bake in a pre-heated oven 190C/375F/Gas 5 for 45 to 60 minutes.|
|Step 4||Baste the apples regularly with the juices in the dish and add a little water if they dry out|
|Step 5||As soon as they are cooked, serve them immediately with clotted cream, ice cream, custard, brandy butter or double cream.|
Traditional Boozy Mincemeat with Apples
|Serves||Approx 6 - 8 x 110ml jars|
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cook time||45 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 15 minutes|
|Meal type||Condiment, Dessert|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot|
|Occasion||Christmas, Formal Party|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 450ml cider
- 450g soft dark brown sugar
- 450g cooking apples, cored & chopped – no need to peel
- 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 475g mixed dried fruits (sultanas, currants and raisins)
- 110g chopped candied peel
- 110g flaked almonds
- 1 orange, juice and zest of
- 1 lemon, juice and zest of
- 150mls brandy or Cognac
An adaptation from an old family “Traditional Mincemeat” recipe which was passed down through my Mum’s side of the family. This one however is fat free ~ no suet or butter and it still keeps for up to a year or two; I currently have a jar from 3 years ago which has aged and matured beautifully. I have called it traditional mincemeat as it has all the traditional ingredients apart from the fat and it is very easy to make
|Step 1||Put the cider and sugar into a large saucepan & heat GENTLY until the sugar has completely dissolved.|
|Step 2||Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the brandy or cognac and slowly bring to the boil – stirring ALL the time. |
|Step 3||Lower the heat and partially cover the saucepan and simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes.|
|Step 4||Remove from the heat and leave it to become completely cold.|
|Step 5||Stir in the brandy or cognac and then spoon into cold, sterilised jars, making sure that the mincemeat is packed down firmly with NO space or air bubbles.|
|Step 6||Cover with TIGHT fitting lids. Store in a cool, dry and dark place for up to one year. Refrigerate after opening.|
I these baked apples into the following challenges:
Tea Time Treats for November, where the theme is for: DRIED FRUIT
One Ingredient: Vine Fruits hosted by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen and
Laura of How to Cook Good Food
As this is a one pot wonder pudding, I am also adding it to Anneli and Louisa’s
Four Seasons Food Challenge for November too!
you’ve simply captured the winter in the dish and the pictures… that apple dish is the epitome of wintry simple perfection… I love it. x
Thanks Dom, when the weather gets bad, I retreat into the kitchen! Karen
I think bramley’s are my favourite apple to bake and these look luscious bursting out of their skins. How cute are those little individual pots too.
Thanks Denise, I was lucky enough to find the little casserole dishes in France for a cheap €3 each! Bargain!
Tracy Nixon says
Ohhh this sounds lovely – something to eat in bed with a cuppa tea!
They look so beautiful! I haven’t made baked apples for years, now is just the time to put that right!
I love the idea of baking them in individual pots, thanks for the idea and the recipe.
Sharon Hingley says
My sister made us baked apples today as a treat to cheer me up after surgery. This recipe looks delicious and I will certainly be sharing it with her. Beautiful photographs as always.
Gill Bland says
My mum used to make baked apples for pudding when I was younger and I was always disappointed…now I love them. Why was I not wiser?! All those duvet apples missed out on!!
Beth Young says
Looks delicious! It’s my mission this week to make some mincemeat to try out on my Italian family so will definitely be giving your recipe a go!
Kirsten Lauridsen says
I can not wait to try out these two recipes ib my own little kitchen. Baked apples is own of my favourites treats during winter time.
Your mincemeat recipe looks amazing. I especially love that there is no fat.
Will definitely be giving this version a try.
Thank you so much.
Thanks Diana, we cannot eat mincemeat with suet in it now, as it tastes so cloying and fatty, I am sure (and hope) you will like this recipe! Karen
Louisa Foti says
Thanks so much your our first One Pot Pudding entry to Four Seasons Food! Baked apples featured a good deal in my childhood too but it was my Dad who used to make them, very frequently! Always packed full of fried fruit and dark brown sugar, and always cooking apples that gloriously frothed and burst open in the oven. Next time my Mum & Dad are over for sunday dinner I’m most definitely going to serve them baked apples, I don’t think they eat them any more either. And I LOVE your recipe for boozy mincemeat, sounds totally delish. I don’t add suet to mine either, have never seen the need. Gorgeous post Karen!
ursula hunt says
Great recipe and beautiful pictures
Franglais kitchen, Nazima says
A perfect and simple pudding idea. lovely presentation in the mini dishes. Thank you so much for linking to one ingredient. xx
Barbara Steward says
You are so lucky to live in France! Love these cute little apple pots, such style and so tasty too. Encourages me to make these as they don’t need loads of ingredients and preparation.