I discovered a new apple. New for me anyway. It’s called Pound Sweet (a/k/a Pumpkin Sweet) and it’s actually a very old heritage apple first known in Connecticut in the early 1800s.
I’d never heard of this one, but at Clarkdale Fruit Farm in Deerfield, Massachusetts, where I drove recently to buy my yearly supply of Rhode Island Greening apples for pies (my Connecticut source didn’t have any this year) they pointed them out and so I bought a bagful.
Turns out (as they told me at the farm) that Pound Sweet are not the best eating-out-of-hand apple — they’re mild tasting and not especially tart/acidic — but they are terrific for baking.
So I baked some. They certainly hold their shape very well and don’t become as mushy as some apple varieties. I found that baking them also took slightly longer than the more usual Romes and Cortlands do.
But the result was really good. If you can find a bunch of Pound Sweets, wonderful, but of course this recipe will be fine when made with any baking apple (if you use other varieties, do not cover and bake for the 10 minutes suggested).
Baked Pound Sweet Apples
4 large Pound Sweet baking apples (or use any baking apple)
half a lemon
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 cup mango juice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the apples and remove the core with an apple corer or small knife, leaving about 1/2” of the core on the bottom. Peel the apples halfway down from the top and rub the peeled surfaces with the cut side of the lemon. Put the apples in a baking dish. Mix the raisins and cranberries and stuff them into the apple hollows. Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon sugar. Place 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil on each apple top. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes. Pour the juice over the apples. Bake for another 40-45 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices, or until the apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 4 servings