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B
aked in pie crust and filled with caramel sauce, this recipe is an elegant spin on a childhood favorite. The topping, too, is a twist on freshly whipped cream: the addition of strained yogurt adds a tanginess that compliments the sweetness of the apples and caramel.

RECIPE
Makes 4 baked apples.

Preparation for topping (at least 4 hours in advance of serving):
1 cup whole milk yogurt*
*alternatively, you could use 1/2 cup yogurt cheese (also known as labneh)

Line a mesh sieve with a coffee filter and place over a bowl. Add yogurt, and cover with another coffee filter, and then a layer of plastic wrap. Using a plastic bag fills with beans or rice, or some other weight, set on top of yogurt and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Crust:
12 tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
2 c flour

1 tsp salt
4 T ice cold vodka

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, whisk salt and flour. Using a pastry cutter, 2 butter knives, or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles moist bread crumbs, with a few large pieces about the size of peas. Don't over-mix, and don't allow the the butter to melt or the flour to get greasy. Drizzle the ice cold vodka evenly over the flour mixute and lightly cut in with a spatula. Again, do not over-mix, blend until the dough barely holds together and there are still loose crumbs. Divide dough into 4 equal portions, pat into discs and place between layers of waxed paper. Allow dough to rest and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the apples.

Apples:
4 flavorful medium-to-large apples
¼ c brown sugar
4 T room temperature butter
1 tsp cinnamon

In a small bowl, blend sugar, butter and cinnamon with a fork. Peel apples and core them completely, leaving a good-sized well in the center. Divide sugar mixture evenly amongst the apples and fill to the top, packing in as much as possible.


Image courtesy of Josi Hannon Madera.

Remove the dough from the refigerator. One at a time, and between 2 sheets of waxed paper, roll each disc to a 10 inch circle. Place one apple in the center of the disc of dough, and wrap apple almost completely (leave a small opening at the very top. Place into 8x8 baking dish. Repeat for remaining 3 apples.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, until well-browned on top and golden at the bottom.

Complete the topping:
Whip 1 c heavy whipping cream until doubled in volume. Add yogurt cheese and whip until slightly stiff.

Let apples cool for 10-15 minutes before serving, as the caramel center will be VERY hot. Add a generous dollop of the yogurt topping and enjoy!

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COMMENTS (26):

these sound so yummy, I cant wait to make them, but need to find a yogurt substitute
- , 2010-08-24 01:22:24


OMG!! That looks so delicious!! I'll have to keep this recipe in mind when fall comes and the weather cools down.
- Cassie O, 2010-07-06 08:26:11


Oh my gosh this looks so good. This is a definite gotta try.
- Frances B, 2010-05-16 10:58:55


Oh my gosh this looks so good. This is a definite gotta try.
- Frances B, 2010-05-16 10:57:05


I've heard about the vodka method for producing perfect piecrust--and now I have the recipe. Many thanks! And I may try this with the apple bakers I inherited from my mother.
- Medora V, 2010-03-23 10:30:15


looks like another yummy receipe
- lydia s, 2010-03-22 01:48:15


This looks very yummyyyyyyy
- Louise B, 2010-03-19 10:04:30


Yum yum! The vodka is an unexpected addition.
- Kim T, 2010-03-13 09:24:53


How well does the vodka work at altitude? (5,000 - 7,000')
- , 2010-03-04 01:44:53


Ok, YUM!!! Vodka in a crust sounds perfectly wonderful. I may try it in a pie crust too. Thanks
- Sue C, 2010-03-02 10:31:48


Oh my. This sounds absolutely yummy! I'm adding it to my recipes folder.
- Sue H, 2010-03-02 07:10:12


sounds delicious!!
- Rebecca S231, 2010-03-01 11:13:14


These look awesome! They'll make a nice Sunday morning breakfast with coffee. Thanks for the recipe. Kathy Anderson
- Kathy A, 2010-03-01 06:45:23


I will be sending the link for this site to friends and family--the recipe's look fantastic!!! This one will be a hit all around. Thank you for a great new site.
- Sandy S, 2010-03-01 01:16:06


Sure wish someone would make this for me!
- sarah c, 2010-02-26 08:15:47


Man, I LOVE baked apples, and this just takes it to the next level. Can't wait to try it!
- Katie A, 2010-02-19 03:02:52


Yum!, Vodka, who would have thought? I am trying this one soon. Sue
- Sue C, 2010-02-13 07:36:33


I added some chopped walnuts and a little bit of ginger to mine last night. They were delicious. thanks again! though i didn't have yogurt so there was no topping. Yummy nonetheless!
- Angela P, 2010-02-12 11:53:18


This looks delicious! I will have to try it...
- Sarah M, 2010-02-11 12:00:09


Those look so good! Really wish I wasn't on a diet right now. :(
- Deja J, 2010-02-07 11:47:56


Vodka, instead of water, makes the best pie crusts. One of the tricks to get a great pie crust is using as little water as possible, just enough to hold it together, in order to promote a light flaky crust (too much water and too much handling can yield a dense, chewy crust). The advantage of using vodka is that you can use a little more (making the dough easier to roll out and handle), but more of it evaporate in the cooking process (and it evaporates more quickly, too) - resulting in a tender flaky crust.
- Josi M, 2010-02-06 06:23:39


The vodka sounds like a really interesting touch. What role does that play in the recipe?
- Larissa B, 2010-02-06 06:14:35


Why yes, I could definately enjoy eating these. I'm thinking this would be a good breakfast for me right now. Yummmm!
- nancy a, 2010-02-04 10:24:03


Thanks for the tip! I actually bought some Honeycrisps last night.
- Angela P, 2010-02-03 01:02:12


Pippins, Honeycrisps, Pink Ladys (although the Pink Lady might be a little bit small for this recipe - choose big one). Another piece of advice when choosing apples - choose ones with lots of variation in the color of the peel. The more variation in color, the more complex the flavor of the apple.
- Josi M, 2010-02-03 09:04:21


I will definitely be trying this one soon. Is there any apple type you recommend?
- Angela P, 2010-02-02 05:05:03




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