The Easy 2-Ingredient Topping For Aromatic Roasted Apples

If you've ever looked for an easy, flavorful, and aromatic dessert, side dish, or snack, consider roasted apples. And, depending on the recipe that you use, it's a surprisingly healthy one too. While many apple dishes call for additional sugar, oats, and other filling ingredients, a straightforward roasted apple relies on nothing more than its own natural sugars, a little bit of cinnamon, and some butter to maximize flavor.

Cinnamon and apples make for a perfect pairing. Apples run the scale between sweet and tart, depending on their water content. Either end of the spectrum works with cinnamon because the flavor of the apples will be balanced by the warm spice of the cinnamon. Together, they develop a uniquely sweet flavor that just works, whether baked together in a pie or mixed with oatmeal. The butter will add richness, elevating both predominant flavors while providing fat for caramelization. As they roast in the oven, the flavors blend into a perfectly sweet, spiced apple with sweet flesh and a hint of crispiness on the outer edges.

This is an exceptionally easy recipe as it requires so few ingredients. You could make it the sweet counterpoint to a savory meal like pork roast or turkey, as breakfast or a mid-day snack, and even as a dessert all its own ... with a bit of vanilla ice cream for good measure. 

How to roast apples

A roasted apple recipe begins with choosing the right apple, and several different varieties are great for cooking. The main thing they have in common is that they can hold their shape and soften (as opposed to disintegrate) when exposed to heat. Depending on whether you prefer your apples sweet or tart, you can reach for many popular species, including Honeycrisp, Winesap, Cortland, and the tried-and-true Granny Smith; all will work for this recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to begin roasting, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. For the apples, you can either slice them in half and remove the core, or you can cut them into wedges. Mix some cinnamon and melted, unsalted butter, and spread them all over the apple pieces. If you've opted for slicing, toss everything together in a large bowl before laying them on the baking sheet.

Roast them in the oven for about half an hour until the apples are caramelized, and their flesh is soft and tender. Your kitchen should also smell like an autumnal dream as the smell of roasted cinnamon wafts through the air. You can enjoy these apples fresh or allow them to come to room temperature before storing them. They will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months.