French Fridays with Dorie: Baked apples filled with fruits and nuts

Dorie Greenspan baked apples on eatlivetravelwrite.comWell now. For this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Baked apples with fruits and nuts, p 392), I’m going to plead “jetlagged” since I well and truly messed up!  It’s weird because I read the recipe over the holidays in Australia and I totally knew what I should have done yet when it came to making this on around about 3 hours’ sleep last weekend when I arrived home, I missed a couple of key steps.

Dorie Greenspan baked apples with nuts and fruit on eatlivetravelwrite.comI already knew that I wasn’t going to peel the apples down to the halfway mark like Dorie said to because, well I didn’t think it was so pretty. I loved the rich red of my tiny local apples and I much prefer the look of whole baked apples. But that wasn’t a mistake in itself.  The next thing I didn’t do, though, was.  Dorie says: “One word of advice: Cut a little circle around the tummy of each apple to keep it from expanding and bursting. I tucked the apples into the oven forgetting that little cut, and one of them popped—not tragic, but not pretty.”

Well now, I am sure you can see I have “not tragic but not pretty” apples up there ^^^ Result of not cutting around the “tummy” of the apple – in part because I didn’t peel the apples halfway down which might have reminded me to make sure to cut around to avoid burst apples.  Still, as Dorie says, it’s not a disaster and hey, I’m all about “rustic”.

Baked apples with nuts and fruit on eatlivetravelwrite.comSo once you’ve prepped your apples (properly) and stuffed them with fruits and nuts and honey, you are supposed to put them in a baking dish and pour in a little apple cider. Ahem. For whatever reason, I read this as “apple cider vinegar” and fortunately for me (since I was, you know minifying the recipe because these were tiny apples) I only used a splash. But holy moly, a splash of apple cider vinegar baking in the oven was enough to make the house smell rather, well, vinegary. Mr Neil was not impressed. As they came out of the oven, I realised my mistake (nope, not before!) and quickly poured a whole lot more honey over the apples and removed them from the baking dish, placing them in small ramekins.  Since I had ignored the part of the recipe where it says to baste the apples with the liquid (thank goodness!) it pretty much saved them from having to be binned immediately.

And how did they taste? Well there was DEFINITELY a vague vinegary taste but the apples were very sweet and the extra honey helped. Basically it tasted like apple sauce with nuts and fruit and honey (with an odd “kick”).

Fortunately for everyone, I already made next week’s recipe when I was in Australia so there will be no messing up. And in two weeks’ time I will hopefully be well over my jetlag so won’t be messing up the moules marinière…


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39 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Baked apples filled with fruits and nuts

  1. Jill @ MadAboutMacarons January 10, 2014 at 06:59 #

    I couldn’t help giggling at the apple tummy scoring and the vinegar, Mardi. So glad you only gave a splash of that vinegar but at least the baking dish would still be pretty clean, lol. As for the sound advice of scoring the peel, I hear you. My Mum used to make baked apples and each time they exploded but that’s what we loved about them most. Happy memories!

    • Mardi Michels January 11, 2014 at 09:03 #

      Right – it’s the drama in the “explosions” that is the fun part!

  2. Cher January 10, 2014 at 07:59 #

    Direction following is HIGHLY overrated, but I would say that adding the word “vinegar” to “apple cider” might be just going a little bit too rogue even for me 🙂

    Glad you were able to save them and hopefully, you were able to get some sleep before you started teaching again!

    • Mardi Michels January 11, 2014 at 09:03 #

      Yes this went beyond “rogue” but since I didn’t do it on purpose it doesn’t count, right?

  3. Mr. Neil January 10, 2014 at 08:04 #

    It was not a *splash*. Methinks Mardi is being ind to herself.

    To put this into context properly, I was actually drawn from my sleep – Mr. Neil NOT suffering jetlag and NOT getting up at 4.35 on the weekend – by the acrid vinegar fumes. Even poor Cleo hid under the covers to try and find relief.

    It brought back horrid childhood memories of my parents making peach chutney in Niagara. (I will say, though – the chutney was damned good.)

    Ah well, no harm done: after a few hours of scented candles, all was right again. 😉

    • Mardi Michels January 10, 2014 at 08:19 #

      It was 1/8 of a cup – pretty much a “splash” 😉

  4. Guyla January 10, 2014 at 10:38 #

    Sorry Mardi, I think Mr. Neil has a valid point. It doesn’t take much baking vinegar to seem like a lot! We enjoyed these but I can understand why you didn’t particularly! I’m impressed that you even tried since you were jet lagged!

    • Mardi Michels January 10, 2014 at 10:43 #

      Actually Mr Neil doesn’t have a valid point – he reckons I used way more than I actually did but that’s just because it’s so strong smelling! And I did enjoy them – the apples were sweet to being with and the extra honey certainly helped!

  5. Kathy January 10, 2014 at 10:42 #

    I’m sitting here laughing about your adventure with these apples. Been there! I used just plain water with the rest of the butter and some honey to bake mine in. It worked quite well! I happen to love baked apples! Have a great weekend, Mardi!

    • Mardi Michels January 11, 2014 at 09:02 #

      Plain water and butter sounds like a better option 🙂

  6. Coco in the Kitchen January 10, 2014 at 13:03 #

    You guys are hilarious!
    I love that Mr. Neil reads your rants and comments on them.
    Sometimes mistakes improve the original recipe.

    Baked apples are just lovely, especially now that the evenings
    are chilly. I’m going to make this tonight for my hubby & li’l darling.
    Happy Friday!

    • Mardi Michels January 11, 2014 at 09:02 #

      Um, “rants”? I don’t think this is a rant – just an honest post about my misadventures with what should have been a walk in the park!

  7. yummychunklet January 10, 2014 at 13:23 #

    Oh, these look delicious regardless!

  8. Rose January 10, 2014 at 16:28 #

    Mine held their form but I think that I like the looks of yours better. Good idea not to peel them.

  9. Diane Balch January 10, 2014 at 18:18 #

    Well, I guess you proved to use that Dorie actually had reasons to bast the apples and to score them… I still wonder if the apple peels in the juice really did anything?

    • Mardi Michels January 11, 2014 at 09:01 #

      Right, that’s right – just proving a point…. 😉

  10. Paula January 10, 2014 at 18:38 #

    I’m sorry that you are having such jet lag and hopefully you are over it by now. I did get quite a chuckle reading about your misadventures with these baked apples. Still in all, I give you a ton of credit for not only making this recipe when so fatigued but also for so honestly posting about it!

  11. Adriana January 10, 2014 at 19:16 #

    I didn’t remember to do the little cut! I have to admit I made the vinegar/cider faux pas before, so that is one thing I definitely scan for when reading recipes. I do like how your apples look. I like the deconstructed/burst feel. 🙂

  12. Mary Hirsch January 10, 2014 at 21:55 #

    I am enjoying the back-and-forth between you and the Mr. as much as I am enjoying reading your Post. I’m in huge sympathy with the jet lag-excuse and salute you for even making the apples and keeping your record intact. So you won’t get any criticism from this lady except to say that I really cannot stand the smell of vinegar whether it’s 1/8, 1/4 or a whole darn cup of it. Now about the cut. I prefer “bursting” and “rustic”. I will make these apples again. They really are delicious. And, burst they will. Welcome home, Mardi. And, thank you for participating in choosing a recipe this month.

    • Mardi Michels January 11, 2014 at 08:59 #

      Yes I think I prefer the rustic look after seeing others this week too! And of COURSE I wouldn’t miss a week!!!

  13. Nana January 11, 2014 at 07:47 #

    I love the color of your apples, so bright. I used water and added a bit of orange juice for
    the basting, and it all worked out well. Not a fan of baked apples but Jim has enjoyed them.

    • Mardi Michels January 11, 2014 at 08:59 #

      Love the idea of orange juice in the baking dish!

  14. Tricia S. January 11, 2014 at 09:46 #

    I am also holding my head in shame on this one. The funniest part is that I typically do my recipes ridiculously late in the week- such as coming home on a Thursday night to buy groceries, read the recipe and knock out something like delicate orange almond tuiles with my fingers crossed. Doing the apple recipe WAY early in the week for me, a recipe that included putting easily stuffed apples in the oven should have been a piece of crumb cake for me. It was an epic fail. I didn’t understand how to core an apple without going all the way down (still confused, frankly- I want all that “stuff” out), why I had to peel halfway, slit the middle and so on. Thankfully my vinegar did not smell at all, which on some level even makes me feel like my vinegar was a failure !!! LOL.

    • Mardi Michels January 11, 2014 at 16:00 #

      No shame allowed Tricia – we all make mistakes – hey it makes us human! Imagine how boring it would be if everything you read on every blog was “easy” or “perfect”?

  15. Shut Up and Cook January 11, 2014 at 17:38 #

    Love Dorie! I’m living in Paris for January and February on a culinary adventure and personal journey and am channeling her daily!


    Glad to have found your blog as well. This looks delicious!

  16. Cakelaw January 11, 2014 at 18:12 #

    I like your rustic apples – they look like the ones Mum used to make with Granny Smiths. No basting for her either.

  17. Teresa January 12, 2014 at 01:24 #

    This seems like a recipe that can survive a little jetlag. And I was grateful for the P&Q this week, otherwise I may have made the same mistake, with no excuse whatsoever!

  18. Cathy January 12, 2014 at 13:41 #

    Glad to see cutting round the apple is a recognised strategy – I made a baked apple last night and it was scored around…still collapsed though. Water with cinnamon is usually what I sit them in, but have been known to splash alcohol around too!
    Hope new term going well Cx

  19. Maria @ Box of Stolen Socks January 12, 2014 at 16:04 #

    Can you believe I also read apple cider vinegar the first time I read the recipe??? And I was not jet lagged. But anyway they look beautiful. If I manage to make them this week I will make them like you!!

  20. Amy Andrews January 12, 2014 at 17:10 #

    I think they look fantastic — and very soft! Mmmmmm! (Just use more crème fraîche to bring that vinegar into line.)

  21. Karen January 12, 2014 at 18:57 #

    I hate to laugh but I am glad I am not the only one who misses things in recipes. Of course I can’t claim jetlag either. 🙂 They look delicious even if they did have an odd “kick”.

  22. betsy January 12, 2014 at 22:56 #

    I think it was the jetlag. Glad you saved it. Those tiny apples are cute, so it would have been a shame to have to bin them. I minified the recipe too (was thinking of you and your word the whole time). I made just one apple because I was the only one who was interested in eating baked apples. Your apples look perfectly rustic.

  23. whineaux January 12, 2014 at 23:32 #

    I love that you posted your mishap and laughed at it. You are a treat! I adore reading your posts even though I rarely comment.

  24. jora January 15, 2014 at 11:54 #

    Too funny! I’m glad that I’m not the only one that makes these types of mistakes. The things we do when we’re sleep-deprived…I’m glad the extra honey helped save these.

  25. Renee January 15, 2014 at 17:19 #

    Oh my! Well, at least you were able to rescue them! Apple cider, apple cider vinegar…close enough! 🙂 And I love your fun spoon!

  26. Christy @ Confessions of a Culinary Diva January 20, 2014 at 12:20 #

    This was a great chuckle this morning. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who occasionally misinterprets a recipe. The Cider Vinegar almost ended up in my apples, but I was in doubt and when in doubt use wine – right? I think your apples look quite lovely, and I like the rustic flair!

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