It is fairly easy to caramelize apples on the stovetop, cooking them in a pan with a bit of butter and sugar until they are browned and tender. I often do this when I want a few apples to top off a batch of waffles or pancakes for breakfast in the morning. But quickly cooking the fruit doesn’t draw out as much flavor as slowly cooking the fruit (and the same can be said with many slow cooked foods), so if I have a little bit more time to put into my apples, I opt for oven roasting them instead.
These Oven-Roasted Maple Apples are an absolutely delicious way to enjoy apples, almost like apple pie without the need for any crust. Thick slices of apple are tossed in a mixture of melted butter and maple syrup, then are spread onto a baking sheet and roasted until the apples are tender and the edges of the fruit are caramelized. The maple syrup and butter give the apples a wonderful glaze, but the long and slow cooking intensifies the apple flavor and that is what makes these so delicious. I like to cook them in relatively small batches so that I can eat them right away, while they’re still warm, but you can cook up a bigger batch in advance and reheat them before serving if you want them to serve a crowd.
Sometimes I add a little bit of cinnamon to the maple syrup mixture to give the apples a spicier flavor. You can actually add some nutmeg and cloves to the cinnamon to give the apples a spiced cider flavor, but I will readily admit that I like these best when they are roasted plain with just high quality maple syrup. Serve these on top of waffles for breakfast, or when they are still warm over a big bowl of vanilla ice cream.
Oven-Roasted Maple Apples
4 large apples
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Peel and core the apples, then cut each into 10-12 wedges (smaller apples can be cut into 8-10 pieces). Toss apple slices in a large bowl with melted butter, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon, if using. Make sure apples are well-coated.
Spread apples in a single layer on a a nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet.
Cook for 35-45 minutes, until apples are tender and just caramelized around the edges. Apples can be turned halfway through the cooking time, to evenly color the slices.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.