Sliced Apples Baked in Cider is a dish I have prepared several times for informal entertaining. Peeled, cored apple slices are arranged in a baking dish and sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange and lemon peels. They are topped with brown sugar and dotted with a small amount of butter. Finally, cider is poured over the apples and they are then baked until just tender.
I used equal amounts of tart, firm apples and sweet, soft cooking ones for an interesting mix of taste and texture. Served warm, the apples are delicious with a sauce made with plain nonfat yogurt flavored with almond extract. The apples can be baked several hours ahead and reheated quickly when needed. The almond sauce can be made a day ahead.
SLICED APPLES BAKED IN CIDER
2 pounds tart, firm apples, such as McIntosh
2 pounds sweet apples, such as Delicious
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons finely chopped orange zest
2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup cider
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 to 3 teaspoons almond extract
Mint sprigs for garnish, optional
Spray 2 (13x9-inch) baking dishes or dishes of similar size with non-stick spray. Peel, stem and core apples, then cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Divide apples evenly between 2 dishes.
Mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, orange and lemon zest in bowl. Sprinkle half over apples in each dish, followed by brown sugar. Pour 1/2 cup cider over top of each. Dot each with 2 tablespoons butter.
Bake at 350 degrees on center shelf until just tender, 30 to 40 minutes. If not serving immediately, remove and cover loosely with foil to keep warm up to 15 minutes. If apples cool down, loosely cover with foil and reheat at 350 degrees 10 to 15 minutes.
Whisk together yogurt and almond extract in small bowl. Serve apples in individual dishes napped with some almond sauce. Garnish with mint sprigs. Makes 8 servings.