Friday, August 24, 2012
Competition Finalist #2
Apple of my Eye
Hi! I’m Becky. I live in the midwest with my husband and yorkie, Sophie. I love to cook, bake and do crafts, so Pinterest has a wealth of ideas for me to try. Sometimes they come out great, other times we end up ordering pizza.
Fall is my favorite season. I waste my entire summer waiting for the cooler temperatures, fall leaves, and pumpkin picking. It’s also the only season where it’s socially acceptable to have my entire house smell like apples and cinnamon. Almost all of my favorite desserts involve some sort of apples and cinnamon combo, so I tested out the baked apples pin from http://skinnychef.com/recipes/baked-apples. If it worked out well, it would be a healthy, delicious treat that I could make easily, and it would make my house smell like fall. An added bonus: I already had all of the ingredients except for the apples and apple juice, so it was a relatively inexpensive test and I wouldn’t be out too much if it failed miserably (as many of my experiments do).
I started out by getting out all of my ingredients. The recipe calls for Gala or Macintosh apples. I chose Gala. I left out the optional orange liquor.
I had forgotten how hard it is to core apples. Maybe I just don’t have very much upper body strength, but I had to really push to get my corer through. The worst part was that once I got the core out of the apple, it would get stuck in the corer and I would have to pry it out with a spoon. Someone should invent an apple corer-clearer outer. On the up side, Sophie created a new doggy game called “how much apple can I eat off the floor before the woman can clean it up?” so at least the floor was clean.
Once I got the apples cored, it was time to fill them. After figuring out that the best way to get the filling in was with my ½ teaspoon measuring spoon, it was pretty smooth. If you have a baby spoon in the house, I bet that would work too. I don’t know if my apple corer makes exceptionally large holes, but I definitely did not have enough filling from following the recipe. The original amount of filling only got me through four apples. I did some quick math and make a half batch of filling to finish out the other two apples. Brain to the rescue!
I put them in the crockpot for 2.5 hours (the conservative end of what the recipe calls for) and crossed my fingers.
Two and a half hours later, my house smelled amazing. Win! Then I looked at the apples…and they looked nothing like I expected. They were dark, shriveled, and barely had any filling left.
They tasted ok, but kind of bland. And I like things bland. We’re talking plain pasta, no dressing on salad, no syrup on pancakes. But these were too bland for me.
I did get some amazing smelling liquid out of the crockpot, which I’ve pictured below. I’m not going to lie, I tasted it. It was greasy, but tasted amazing. I spooned some of it over the apples, and it made them taste much better.
I would probably classify this as a level 2 on the GCT Fail Scale. It was ok- they’re edible. But it’s definitely not as delicious as the description made it sound, and the picture on the pin is definitely of the apples pre-baking when they still look pretty. I think the biggest problem was that when the butter and brown sugar melted, they just seeped out of the bottom of the apples. If there was some way to keep the filling in while it was cooking, I think it would soak into the apples more and all of that flavor that ended up in the apple juice would be in the apples instead.
I saw people commenting on the original pin that they were considering using oatmeal instead of walnuts. I wanted to follow the pin exactly, but I wonder if oatmeal would hold the filling together better. The walnuts might not have been able to hold it in the apple. If I try this again, I might go that route and see what happens.