It all started with a big bowl of apples on our kitchen counter and a craving for apple pie. Let’s start with the apples - it’s hard to think of another fruit or vegetable (besides perhaps heirloom tomatoes) with so many delicious and exciting varieties to try. Every farmer’s market, I find myself eyeing up some tasty Gingergolds or Cox’s Orange Pippins, buying a few apples, and before I know it, I’ve got a whole bagful.
And although I’ve been making it a point to eat what feels like several apples a day, the amount of apples in the kitchen never seems to decrease. Which is when you start thinking about other ways to use them up. Things like apple pie.
But say you’re feeling a little lazy. It happens to all of us. Yes, pie would be wonderful, but I’ll admit that from time to time, the idea of rolling out pie crust seems a little less than wonderful. That was my mindset when I was struck with this most wonderful idea - roasted apples.
We all know that roasting is an awesome and super easy way to cook pretty much any fruit or vegetable you can think of, and these apples are no exception. But what really makes them extra delicious, is their wonderful spiciness. Before roasting, they’re tossed with the spices one typically finds in a cup of Chai tea - allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and of course, a healthy dose of cardamom.
Essentially, you make the filling of the pie, but with no crust to speak of. Pros: No crust rolling, minimal work, and that wonderful, apple pie aroma filling your house. Cons: Well, it’s technically not pie, but in my opinion, that’s perfectly okay when eating these perfectly spiced beauties atop a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Or for breakfast atop a warming bowl of steel cut oatmeal. In a way it sort of feels like you’re eating pie for breakfast, which is always a win in my book.
Chai-Spiced Roasted Apples
makes 4 generous servings (or 6 small ones)
Feel free to use pre-ground spices for this recipe (it will make your life a lot easier). But if you’re like me and only have whole spices on hand, grinding your own will give your apples an extra boost of flavor.
- 6 large baking apples (such as Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Pink Lady), peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the butter and mix until well combined.
3. Spread apples on prepared baking sheet in an even layer and sprinkle the butter pieces evenly over the top. Bake at 400 degrees until apples are soft, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm atop ice cream, oatmeal, yogurt and granola, etc.