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Sauté apples before baking for extra flavor (and perfect texture)

Image from the article titled Frying Apples in Butter before Frying Apples in Butter

Photo: Akhanov Michael (shutter stock)

Apples are wonderful when baked, pair well with other flavors, and are pretty versatile. there are no people everything? Raw When apples are added to desserts, they can become skiny and undercook the fruit, which is difficult to cut through.

The problem of baking with raw apples

If you mix raw apples into the dough, the apples will release moisture when baked. That water has nowhere to go and enters the surrounding batter, creating pockets of wet dough that evaporate when given the chance, creating pockets of moist air. If some of the has ever slipped out, that’s why.

Putting apples on top of the cake is also not good. If you place the apples as an open topping on a cake or tart, the apples will be dry and leathery. They lose their flavor, dry out, and at the same time get wet with the dessert below.

Baking a raw apple at 350°F for about 30 minutes does not significantly change its structural integrity. This is part of the reason many apple pie recipes use cooked stovetop filling rather than raw apple filling. , the bottom gets damp and when you try to stick a fork in, the whole thing slides off the wet part into an unbreakable piece. of fruit. You were looking for the perfect bite, a little fruit and a little tart, and what you got was a plumeria tart with apples on the side.

Why You Should Fry Apples Before Baking

Sautéing apples in butter before baking preserves the apple’s firm texture and adds a lot of flavor. Precook the apples slightly to release excess moisture and finish cooking in the oven. Just minutes in a pot or pan. It’s like soaking vegetables in oil before roasting them in the oven. When the apple hits the oven, the fat coating distributes the heat evenly across the apple’s surface, ensuring that the apple is fully cooked in the time it would take the entire dessert to cook (average 30 minutes at 350°C). With the F, the eater can easily cut through an apple slice and chew a forkful of it perfectly.

Then there’s always the simple magic of butter. This delicious coating of fat enhances and improves the flavor of the apple and the overall flavor of the dessert. Visually, apples are also improved. Butter caramelizes the natural sugars of apples, the butter itself turns brown And take in that tantalizing nutty feeling it gets Maillard reactionDried apples don’t do that.

after baking. Left: Additive-free apple. Right: Apples sautéed in butter only before baking.

after baking. Left: Additive-free apple. Right: Apples sautéed in butter only before baking.
Photo: Allie Chanthorn Lineman

How to sauté apples for baking

To sauté apples, cut them into the desired shape for dessert (usually 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices or chunks). Melt butter in a skillet large enough for the amount of apples you will use. For 1 medium apple, about 10 slices, I used 1 teaspoon butter and a 10 inch nonstick skillet. , and flip the slices with constant stirring (but don’t be overzealous).

Depending on how you flavor the apples, turn off the heat after 2-3 minutes when the apples are a little soft and only the surface is translucent. Lean on the side of a short sauté if you want to keep the firm apple texture. This allows for a quicker Maillard reaction in the oven while maintaining a firm apple crunch. For deeper flavor and caramelization, continue sautéing apples until edges begin to color on both sides (about 5 minutes). Remove the apples from the heat and let them cool for a few minutes before adding sugar and flavor (for apple fillings) or using them as a dessert topping.

After baking, your apples will be an elegant golden color with caramelization and great texture. The flavor of browned butter and caramelized apple sugar abounds on the rim, making the whole dessert so delicious. Use the following sautéed apple recipe as a guideline for larger batches.

How to make apple butter saute


  • 1 apple, sliced ​​into 1/2-inch pieces (I used a gala apple)
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the butter has completely melted, add the apple slices. Stir constantly and flip slices to coat apples in butter, 2 to 5 minutes until desired doneness. For lightly sautéed or small pieces, cook for 2 minutes. For charred apples, cook for about 5 minutes. Removed from heat. cool.

Use in apple desserts or bake in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes on a sheet of parchment and eat as a new apple snack.

Sauté apples before baking for extra flavor (and perfect texture)

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