Apples often outshine pumpkin for me at this time of year. I eat at least one every day while they’re in season, starting my morning with an apple and nut butter, and include them in virtually every baked good.
I think apples are sometimes taken for granted as they’re so widely available year round, but they are a seasonal fruit. Best from late August up to December depending on the variety and your region, some types store very well and you might be able to get local apples right up into spring and early summer.
Baked apples are an autumn staple in Germany, and I grew up with my mom making them for us every September. Apple season comes a bit later here than in the Canadian prairies, so I’ll be going strong with this recipe right up until Christmas.
These ones are stuffed with a simple granola and dark chocolate, which lets the apples bring in most of the sweetness. Topped off with a drizzle of maple syrup, they make an excellent fall dessert and an even better breakfast. Treat yourself.
- Four apples
- Granola (I usually use this olive oil granola) – see tips
- Dark chocolate
- Maple syrup
Best Baking Apples
I like Elstar or Boskoop, but any firm and slightly tart apple variety will do well. Choose one that you love, because this recipe is 90% apple – a mealy type that you don’t want to eat raw won’t be any better baked.
Honestly, after three years over here, I don’t remember the Canadian varieties I liked best as well as I should. The apples grown at my parent’s farm are obviously perfect, as the ones you grow up with always are.
Macintosh and red delicious are crap – common knowledge, I think? – and granny smith is too sour. Pink lady, honeycrisp, or jonagold would be good.
You may have an apple corer, which makes this recipe even easier! If not, just carefully cut the centres out of each apple, making plenty of space for the stuffing. You want about 4cm (1.5 in.) in diameter for each core.
Fill the apples with granola, adding a square of dark chocolate halfway up, and bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes. They should keep their shape for the most part, but will taste the same even if they explode.
Serve hot, either plain or with a drizzle of maple syrup, vanilla ice cream, or your favourite yogurt. I had a vegan ice cream on hand to photograph these with but 1. Turns out it was yellow, and 2. It was absolutely awful and I just couldn’t include it.
Notes and Substitutions
If you don’t have any granola on hand and are experiencing a sudden craving for stuffed apples, here’s a quick fix. Mix about a half cup of rolled oats with a tablespoon each of coconut sugar, coconut oil, and dairy-free milk, add a sprinkle of cinnamon, and use that.
You can add extra nuts or seeds to make it a bit more interesting – and maybe morning appropriate – but it’s an easy solution, and a delicious one.
Although I’ve linked to my olive oil granola in the recipe, this hazelnut granola would be just as good, or a grain free granola. If you have a favourite store bought granola, then use that. It’s a flexible recipe.
More Great Apple Recipes for Autumn
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Healthy Baked Apples
- 4 apples cored
- 8 tablespoons olive oil granola*
- 4 squares dark chocolate
- Maple syrup for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line an oven safe dish with parchment paper (this helps catch any errant chocolate).
- Make sure the cored area in the apples is quite large, as you want a good amount of filling. Place the apples into the prepared dish – lifting them after the filling is added won’t be possible.
- Add about a tablespoon of granola into the middle of an apple, then add a square of dark chocolate, and top with another tablespoon of granola. Repeat for each apple.
- Bake the apples for about 30 minutes. It will depend on the size of you apples. They should be fork soft, but not completely mushy, so take them out when there’s still a bit of bite.
- Serve warm, with a drizzle of maple syrup or with a scoop of ice cream or yogurt.
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This post was originally published in October 2019. It’s been updated with improvements to the text and some tweaks to the recipe as of October 2020.