Berry Balsamic Baked Apples

The delicious blend of berries and balsamic vinegar is a culinary super star. Balsamic baked with apples? Luscious!

Apples for dessert have probably been around since Eve tempted Adam. And who could fault him?!  In my house growing up, no one could refuse my Mom’s apple pie. It was the best ever: crisp, tart apples with a layer of crunchy cinnamon-laced sugar just beneath a cross-hatch of flaky crust. Yumm.

It’s still hard for me to pass up apples for dessert. And being a short-cut cook of sorts, I find pie crusts a bit time-consuming.*  So I developed this scrumptious twist on simple baked apples. Use a balsamic vinegar that is 6 percent acidity or less for these apples. Be aware though, not all balsamics are created equal. The flavor and quality varies. This recipe was also tested with Holland House brand balsamic vinegar.
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Berry Balsamic Baked Apples

Makes 6 desserts.  Prep & bake time: 1 hour

3/4 cup strawberry preserves or jam
(or raspberry, boysenberry, blackberry, or a combination)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup Barengo balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
6 medium-size sweet apples (golden delicious, Fuji,
gala or cameo)
Toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F.  In a small saucepan, stir together preserves, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, butter and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Continue to cook 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Core apples and peel the top third of each apple. Place in a baking dish and spoon sauce over and inside each apple. Bake uncovered 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and baste apples with sauce from bottom of dish. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until apples are tender when pierced with a knife.

Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. To serve, spoon sauce over each apple and sprinkle with pecans. Add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

An original recipe by Rita Held

* See Rosie’s short-cut pie crust recipe in our Kitchen Essentials tab (allow a minute or so to load).

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