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As you may know, apples are closely related to roses (I only found this out recently, and I thought it was so interesting!).  This might seem strange, but bake an apple and it won’t seem so odd.  Baked apples have a distinctive sweet, floral aroma just like roses.  You’re probably thinking that this scent would make a lovely perfume, right?  This is exactly why I love the DKNY Be Delicious fragrance collection!  As edible (or food-based, I should say) scents go, this is the only one I like to wear…but vanilla is my favorite candle scent!  It makes the house smell like fresh baked cookies.


There are so many different variations on baked apples I decided I wanted to share at least two of my favorites with you.  The second recipe with the crumb top is the one I make more often…but the first recipe with the custard sauce is my favorite.  If you’ve got the time to make the custard, it is well worth the effort, and if there’s extra custard, you can use it for any number of things (topping for ice cream/froyo, oats, or cereal…dipping sauce (fondue-style) for pieces of fruit…all-in-one sweetener and cream for coffee/tea, etc.).

Baked apples are the perfect dessert for any fall meal (and I’ll admit, I like to eat them for breakfast/brunch on occasion!).  You can serve them hot, cold, or room temperature and you can add whipped cream or ice cream if you really want to gild the lily. 

img_0140-smallBaked Apples with Vanilla-Nutmeg Custard Sauce


For 1 Baked Apple (can be easily adjusted for however many you want to make):

1 apple (I like Cortland or another sweet/tart apple for this)

1 TB water

1 tsp butter

1 tsp brown sugar

1/8 tsp cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg


Vanilla-Nutmeg Custard Sauce (makes about 1 cup, or enough for about 6-8 apples):

2 TB butter

½ c sugar

2 large eggs

Pinch nutmeg

½ c milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract


For the apple:  Preheat the oven to 325F.  In a small pan, heat together the water, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.  Wash and core the apple (but don’t peel it), place it in an oven-safe dish (I like to use individual dishes), and pour the butter/sugar/spice mixture over it.  Cover the apple with aluminum foil and cook for 35 to 55 minutes.  Cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the type of apple you use.  The apple is done baking when it can be pierced easily with a fork.


For the custard sauce:  Prepare a double boiler.  Scald the milk by heating it in a small pan until small bubbles form around the edges, then taking it off the heat (don’t let it come to a boil).  Cream together the butter, sugar, and nutmeg; beat in the eggs one at a time.  Heat the egg mixture over a double boiler and very gradually pour the scalded milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly.  Heat the custard until it reaches 170F or until it coats the back of a wooden spoon, stirring constantly.  Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve, then add the vanilla extract. 


Serve the apples with 2-3 TB of custard sauce poured on top.

img_0643-smallBaked Apples with Walnut-Oat Crumb Topping


(Yield:  2 servings)


1 apple

1 TB butter

1 TB all-purpose flour

3 TB rolled oats

1 TB chopped walnuts

1 TB brown sugar

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch nutmeg

Pinch salt


Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a small bowl, use a fork to cut together the butter, flour, oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until it forms a crumbly mixture.  Wash and core the apple (but don’t peel it), then cut it in half along its equator.  Transfer each apple half to an oven-safe dish (I like to use individual dishes) and sprinkle the crumb topping on the each apple half.  Bake the apple (uncovered) for about 30 to 45 minutes until the topping is golden and the apple is tender (i.e., when it can be easily pierced with a fork).  Cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the type of apple you use. 


(Click on an image to enlarge)




Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Well I printed out this recipe two years ago ;o and finally got the chance to try it (the baked apples with the custard sauce). Yum. I may have cooked my apples too long as they kind of caved in on themselves and didn’t look too lovely. But the taste? Delicious. I love your ideas about using the extra custard sauce. I’m thinking maybe with oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for the sweet, vanilla-y goodness.

  2. Can I combine them? Now that would be gilding the lily! :)

  3. Great way to prepare apples. I haven’t tried them baked like this, only as apple pies..

  4. That vanilla nutmeg custard sounds so delicious. I was just thinking of baked apples and now I have a recipe! :D

  5. What great ways of preparing apples! A wonderful fall fruit and gorgeous seasonal desserts!



  6. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    I’m loving both versions of baked apples! I had no idea that apples were related to roses, very neat!

  7. WOW! I don’t think I’ve ever had a baked apple, but this just looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I love that DKNY scent as well and I’m not a huge fruity scent type of girl.

  8. I love baked apples. Mom use to stuff them with brown sugar and raisins. YUM! I had no idea that apples were closely related to roses! Neat tidbit….

  9. clearly, the best apple of all is one making use of both methods. a custardy sauce drizzled all over a crumb-topped baked apple couldn’t get any better, could it?

  10. Gosh, how do you choose, they both look fantstic. I know.. Ill have one of each.

  11. Heavenly Housewife says:

    mmmmm…. walnut crumb topping.. droooooooool

  12. Wow, I did not know about apples being related to roses…so damn cool!
    Both apple dishes look awesome! What is your fave apple though?

  13. Yum yum! I loved baked fruit with crumble on top! I get to eat a whole lot of great and yummy stuff where I live in Kyoto Japan but I REALLY miss baked food!

    I had not seen the DKNY Be Delicious fragrance collection, thanks for the tip. I will have to put some on my gal!

  14. Those baked apples with vanilla custard sauce sound heavenly. How’d you know I have a huge box of apples I just bought from a local farm on Sunday? :)

  15. As always…amazing! The only baked apples I have had are just apples with some butter and cinnamon. I love the crumbly topping and the custard…which one do I try first?

  16. I did not know that apples were closely related to roses – interesting! Okay, now the hard part – which baked apple recipe to try first?

  17. Faith, first love the leaves picture; second,the baked apple looks absolutely delicious, just right for this weather, a very comforting dessert :-)

  18. Karyn Bernard (French Charming) says:

    Actually, I did not know apples are closely related to roses…no wonder I love them! Thank you for the great recipes and your photos are super spectacular!!

    Love and hugs,

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