Who’s Got the Apple…Recipe?

Yes, an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but that doesn’t mean you only have to consume them individually. And in this season of apple picking and upcoming holidays, it’s always good to have a few good recipes on hand for those extras. Here are a few easy ones to satisfy all your apple needs.

Old-fashioned Baked Apples
Old-fashioned Baked Apples.
Photo courtesy of Once Upon a Chef.

Old-Fashioned Baked Apples

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minute


  • 6 baking apples, preferably Fuji or Gala
  • ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1½ cups apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Using the smaller side of a melon baller or a sharp-edged measuring teaspoon, remove the core, leaving the bottom ½ inch of the apples intact. (Do not use an apple corer, as it’s hard to prevent the corer from going all the way through the apples.)
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Place the apples in a 2- to 2.5-quart baking dish (they should fit snugly). Spoon the brown sugar mixture evenly into the apples. Top each apple with a chunk of butter.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the apple cider (or juice), brandy (if using), and lemon juice. Pour around the apples. The liquid should come about 1 inch up the sides of the baking dish. Add more cider if necessary.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Let cool for a few minutes, then carefully transfer the apples (and some of the cooking juices, if you like) to serving bowls. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Baked Apple French Toast
Baked Apple French Toast.
Photo courtesy of Once Upon a Chef.

Baked Apple French Toast

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


For the French toast
  • One 1-pound challah or raisin challah
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1½ cups half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional; replace with apple cider or half-and-half if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon salt
For the apple topping
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For serving
  • Confectioners’ sugar and/or maple syrup


For the French Toast
  1. Butter a 9-by-13-inch or 3-quart baking dish. Slice the bread into ¾-inch-thick slices.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Dip each slice of challah into the custard mixture for about 5 seconds, then arrange in an overlapping pattern in the prepared baking dish. Be sure the entire bottom of the dish is covered with the bread. Pour any remaining custard over the bread. Set aside.
For the apple topping
  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are softened and the sugar-syrup mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Spoon the apples and sugar-syrup mixture evenly over the bread, making sure not to leave any of the syrup behind. If not baking immediately, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Otherwise, proceed with the recipe.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
Putting it together
  1. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and, using a fine sieve, dust with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve with maple syrup.

Apple Cobbler
Apple Cobbler.
Photo courtesy of Once Upon a Chef.

Apple Cobbler

Servings: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


For the apple filling
  • 5 large baking apples (about 2½ lbs), peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick (see note)
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing the pan
For the biscuit topping
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 7 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup buttermilk (see note)
For serving (optional)
  • Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream


  1. Heat oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease an 8-inch square or 2-quart baking dish with butter.
  2. Make the Apple Filling: In a large bowl, combine the apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Toss until the apples are evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and pat into an even layer. Dot with the 2 tablespoons butter.
  3. Make the Biscuit Topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cold butter and smoosh with your fingers (or cut in with a pastry cutter) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized clumps of butter within. Add the buttermilk and stir until just combined and evenly moistened. It will look lumpy; that’s good. Do not overmix.
  4. Using a large spoon, dollop 8 to 10 spoonfuls of the biscuit batter over the apples, allowing the filling to show through in spots (most of the filling will be covered). Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the batter.
  5. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the top is golden, about 45 minutes (keep an eye on it during the last 10 minutes; if it looks like it’s getting too brown, cover it loosely with aluminum foil). Let the cobbler cool for 15 to 20 minutes, then serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Make-ahead instructions:

The cobbler can be made one day ahead and kept, covered with foil, at room temperature. Reheat, covered with foil, in a 300°F oven for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and continue reheating for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until warmed through.

Flavor note:

For the best flavor, use a combination of tart and sweet baking apples, such as Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Gala, Jonagold, Jonathan, and Golden Delicious. (Don’t use all tart or all sweet, or the flavor won’t be balanced. I typically use 2 Granny Smiths, 2 Golden Delicious, and 1 Honeycrisp.

Photos: Apples in crates, iStockphoto.com/Nes; recipe photos courtesy of Once Upon a Chef.

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