Creative Cooking

What Are We Stuffing? Apples

Apple pie just screams "classic American dessert." Pair it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and you've got yourself one of the best fruit dessert combinations.

My favorite part about apple pies is the warm, sugary and slightly crunchy apple filling. You can't go wrong with apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and more sugar. While surfing the Internet for fun dessert recipes, I came across this gem: apple pie baked in an apple. My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give this twist on an apple pie a shot.

It's a simple recipe that doesn't entail the long process of making a homemade apple pie (although I love taking the time to bake an apple pie from scratch). All you need are a few ingredients and you'll have beautiful and delicious personal apple pies.

The critical component of an apple pie is choosing the correct apples. Yes, I said apples, as in more than one kind.

You have to blend the sweet apples with the bitter and tart apples, otherwise your apple pie will taste bland. The blogger who posted this recipe only used Granny Smith apples, but I decided to use Gala and Golden Delicious.

I know that Gala is probably not the best apple to bake with, but combining it with the Golden Delicious worked quite well.

I used the Gala apples as the shell to stuff the apple pie filling. Adding Golden Delicious apple slices to the filling added more crunch so the Gala apple slices wouldn't make the filling completely mushy.

So, to begin making these miniature stuffed apple pies, start by coring the apples and then scoop out the flesh with a small spoon or a melon baller. I used a small spoon and it worked perfectly. Once most of the apple has been removed, delicately scrape the lining with the spoon to make a smooth surface on the inside of the apple.

Next, peel and chop two Gala apples and two Golden Delicious apples to make the filling. Make sure the slices are smaller than you would use in an ordinary apple pie because you want to fill it with a lot of apple slices.

Once all of the apples have been chopped, place them in a bowl and mix in cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar and melted butter. The original recipe calls for a quarter cup of granulated sugar, one tablespoon of brown sugar and one teaspoon of cinnamon. I sprinkled enough of each ingredient to coat the apples, and also added melted butter. Paula Deen would be proud.

Once you assemble the filling, roll out the pre-made pie crust and slice into small strips to create a lattice pattern. Of course, you can make your own pie crust if you have a killer recipe, but for time's sake, I used a pre-made pie crust. You can also make any pattern you prefer, even a different one for each apple.

Baste the tops of the pies with a little bit of whipped egg whites and a splash of water to give the pies the perfect glimmering finish.

Finally, place the apples into a small baking dish, fill the bottom of the pan with a small amount of water, cover with aluminum foil and bake for nearly 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are golden-brown, in a preheated 375-degree oven.

The apples took longer to bake than the blogger's recipe said they would, so after 25 minutes, I took the aluminum foil off of the baking dish and let the apples bake for roughly ten more minutes.

Once they are done baking in the oven, sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon and sugar on the crust, serve with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream...or two...and enjoy.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn