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A hot and buttery dessert

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Apples are usually associated with the fall season. Fortunately, they're available and good anytime throughout the year. Apple pie is the classic American dessert, without a doubt. Another favorite is baked apples, yet it's a recipe that's not made very often. Let's revive this old-fashioned dessert and turn it into something special: "Hot Buttered Apples".

This takes the classic baked apple to a new taste level. The apples are filled with a mixture of butter, sugar, rum, cinnamon, almond extract and lemon zest. Each apple gets a spoonful of this butter mixture before baking and a second spoonful after baking. It's then topped with whipped cream flavored with rum. A very special and elegant dessert!

Some varieties of apples are better suited for baking. I would recommend the York Imperial, Granny Smith, or the Golden Delicious varieties. The varieties not designed for baking give you a product that's watery and not very flavorful, but they're fine for eating raw.

When whipping the cream for the topping, it's important to make certain that the bowl and beaters are cold. Also, be careful not to overwhip the cream as this would cause it to turn to butter, which you don't want to happen. Whip it only long enough to hold a soft peak and you'll be just fine. You'll also see that the recipe does call for rum. For economy, if you prefer, you may want to replace the rum with rum extract. Use about 1 teaspoon of the extract for the butter mixture and about 1 to 2 teaspoons for the whipped cream..

While we're talking about apples, I did a story a while back for a "French Apple Pie" that is also a good winter dessert. Here's that link, in case you didn't get it earlier:

http://www.examiner.com/article/apple-pie-the-french-way

When you're looking for an new way to enjoy baked apples, give this recipe a try and discover a new taste sensation!

HOT BUTTERED APPLES

  • 4 large baking apples
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • zest of 1 lemon (the colored portion of the lemon)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Core apples, but do not peel. Cut each apple into quarters, but do not cut apart at the base (this can be done ahead and the apple brushed with water and lemon juice to prevent discoloring). Cream the butter, sugar, rum, cinnamon, almond extract, and the zest of the lemon. Place one tablespoon in each flared apple. Wrap a sheet of foil around each apple and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Whip the cream and add the 1-2 tablespoons rum and sugar as flavoring. Open the apples and place another tablespoon of butter inside. Top each with whipped cream and serve. Yield: 4 servings.

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