I am a tad obsessed with apple picking. I have spent many minutes rallying people to go with me on an apple picking adventure. Those that always resist are male… something in their nature doesn’t desire a day of frolicking in an orchard with a basket and a long pole, and eating apples until your stomach hurts. Everything in my nature does. The sweet and tang of a Fall apple is unmatched the rest of the year.

Crab Apples

I love little apples, known as crab apples if you prefer proper names. They are good to crunch on, good as a centerpiece, good to bake with, good to carmelize, good to hold in the palm of your hand.

Here is how you can achieve all of the above.

Baked Caramelized Crab Apple

“Baked Caramelized Crab Apples”

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

“Baked Caramelized Crab Apples”

In some varieties of crab apple trees, the fruit remains attractive well into the winter. This baked dessert is a cross between the traditional baked apple and the caramel peanut crusted apples that surface during apple-picking season. In one bite, the chewy outside gives way to the soft apple and finishes in the center with a peanut crunch.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 4 small crab apples
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, crushed
  • 4 small sage leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Make a dry caramel by heating the sugar and vanilla in a small pot over medium heat. One it has reached a medium caramel color, remove from the heat and gently whisk in the cold butter. Pour a ½ inch of the caramel into small ramekins and let the caramel cool and harden.
  3. Peel the apples and carefully core them from the bottom.
  4. Fill the center of each apple with the crushed peanuts, making sure to pack them in as densely as possible.
  5. Place each apple in each of the ramekins on top of the hardened caramel and place them in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes, turning them over halfway through the baking. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  6. Dip sage leaves into the leftover caramel on the bottom of the ramekins, making sure to fully coat them. Let them cool until they are completely stiff. Place one on top of each apple and serve!

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