Functional Pottery: Make a Delicious Treat with an Apple Baker
Baked apples are a delicious treat any time of the year, but there's something especially appealing about the hot dessert in the crisp fall season. We bought some apple bakers from J. Chapman Pottery at the Dahlonega Gold Rush craft show. They are also available on J. Chapman's website. The attractive dishes, about the size of a cereal bowl and featuring a post that holds the apple in place, are safe to use in the oven and eat from. Add butter, raisins, marshmallows, nuts, and brown sugar, and you get a delectable, syrupy mix of flavors.
Step One: Prepare
To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and wash and core an apple. I suppose any type of apple will work; my favorite kind has always been the Fuji because it's large, sweet, and juicy. Affix the apple to the stem in the apple baker.
Step Two: Top with Treats
Now it's time to dress it up before it goes in the oven. I sprinkle brown sugar across the top of the apple, inside the core, and in the bottom of the bowl. Next come the raisins. You can really be creative here: honey, nuts, butter, marshmallows, etc.
Step Three: Bake
Baking the apple is the easiest part. It takes 30 to 40 minutes, or until the apple is nice and soft. About halfway through the baking time, I peeked in the oven. The apples were baking nicely, but I wanted a melted, syrupy coating over them. I knew what was missing: butter. Greasing the hot apples with a pat of butter and leaving some in the cores, I slid the apple bakers back in and waited a bit longer.
Step Four: Enjoy
When it's time for the apples to come out, I can smell a warm, sweet smell wafting from the oven. The butter has worked its magic, mixing with the brown sugar to create a bubbly, caramelized liquid perfect for dipping. The apples are so warm and soft that they slice open easily with the touch of a butter knife. They soaked up the toppings in the oven and are saturated with flavor and buttery juices.
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This truly is a delectable, irresistible treat. I tell myself it's mostly healthy because fruit is involved. That's right, it's the primary ingredient. You can also use this recipe for pears.
Functional pottery serves a dual purpose: it's handy for serving and preparing food and it's attractive enough to display when it's not in use. Apple bakers will be getting a lot of use in our house, I have a strong feeling.