Like many good recipes, this one came out of a need to salvage an ingredient on its way out. In this case, it was a pile of mealy, relatively flavorless apples, purchased in the off-season. Sure, I could've
tossed them out composted them, but that seemed like a waste. Instead, I figured with some heat, a sprinkling of other ingredients, and time, they could be transformed. And right I was.
This is to say, you don't need the absolute best apples for this recipe; save those for snacking on with some almond butter. Rather, this is my favorite way to make use of so-so, off-season apples or overripe, bruised ones. After a couple hours in the oven, their flavor intensifies, and the texture slumps, camouflaging any defects in that department.
Ideally, I like to make it with a variety of apples — some sweeter, some tart (like how many apple pie recipes suggest) — to get a mix of flavors and textures, but I've made it plenty of times with all Pink Lady apples (my go-to), and it's still great.
A killer oatmeal topper, it's also great on waffles, dutch babies, or eaten on its own, like a tart applesauce.
- 6-7 medium apples, cored
About 5 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen), picked over
1/2 cup filtered water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Chop the apples into roughly 1/8-inch matchsticks. (The exact size is less important; what is important is that they're relatively uniform.)
- Add all of the ingredients to an 8-inch-square baking dish. Roast for 5 minutes, or until the butter has melted; stir to evenly distribute the melted butter and other ingredients. Cover tightly with tinfoil and roast for 1 hour. Uncover, stir, and roast for 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, or until tender, the liquid has evaporated, and the apples are lightly browned.
- North American
- 7-8 servings
- Total Time
- 2 hours, 44 minutes, 59 seconds