If you want to sell your house make Baked Apples. There are few foods as compellingly homey and delicious as this one and the sweet-smelling wisps of caramelized fruit that filter through the rooms almost say “you will love this place because this is a great kitchen and a wonderful home with delicious things to eat and everyone is happy here.”
When we sold our old house several years ago I remember the broker telling us to have stuff baking that smelled good and would make potential buyers feel at home. She suggested packaged dough to be baked into bread (you can buy frozen dough, challah, and such). But, me being me, I decided on baked apple things like pie, cake and plain old baked apple.
I’m not guaranteeing anything here folks. Just sayin’. If the house smells good, it can’t hurt. And Baked Apples also have the added benefit of tasting absolutely wonderful. So everyone will eat them and you’ll have to make more and your house will always smell as good.
Fortunately Baked Apples are easy to make if you don’t get all fancy about them. And are especially good at this time of year when you can get fresh, new crop apples and also different, better-for-baking varieties (Rome Beauty, Cortland, York Imperial are best) than you can buy at other times of the year.
Here’s one of my simplest recipes.
4 large baking apples
half a lemon
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts
4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 cup orange juice, apple juice or cider
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pieces
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the apples, then remove the core and seeds, leaving about 1/2-inch on the bottom. Peel the apples 1/2 of the way down from the stem end on top, then rub the cut surfaces with the cut side of the lemon. Put the apples in a baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the raisins, nuts, one tablespoon of the honey or maple syrup and 3-4 tablespoons of the juice. Stuff this mixture into the apple hollows. Pour the remaining honey and the remaining juice over the apples. Sprinkle the apples lightly with cinnamon. Dot the tops with butter. Bake the apples for about 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices, or until the apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4