Microwave Baked Apples Two Ways

Microwave Baked Apples Two Ways

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So besides just eating fruit as nature intended, well-rinsed and with a napkin to catch all the juices, I rely on a few simple recipes to transform plain fruit into warm, healthy desserts. Of these, nothing is simpler or easier than apples baked in the microwave. I’ve been baking apples in the microwave ever since I saw the recipe in Adventures in Microwave Cooking, the book that came with my first Montgomery Ward microwave. (Yes, I just needlessly dated myself.) The original recipe called for only three ingredients besides apples: cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter. Over the years I’ve found that only the cinnamon is necessary; there are better-tasting sweeteners than brown sugar and absolutely no reason to use butter or margarine. My standard recipe contains raisins, cinnamon, maple or date syrup, and sometimes chopped nuts, but lately I’ve come to love filling the apples with frozen berries, especially blueberries. Using frozen rather than fresh ensures that the berries won’t become overcooked before the apple is done. To retain juices and keep the apple as moist as possible, I remove most of the core from the apple, creating a cavity but leaving the bottom intact; the aroma and flavor of the berries permeates the apple from the inside out. My favorite apples for baking are the same as my favorite for eating, Honeycrisp, which are very sweet and hold their shape well when cooked. Granny Smiths are too tart, and other red apples I’ve tried dissolve too easily into mush. If you can’t find Honeycrisp, use the crispest type of apple you can find. And remember, microwaves vary in strength, so you may have to experiment to find the time that is right for yours. But when your experiments fill your kitchen with the scent of apples and cinnamon and you get to sit down to a sweet, tender baked apple in a matter of minutes, you probably won’t mind testing a few apples to get it just right.

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