How To Make Baked Apples When You Don't Have Access To An Oven

The benefits of fall don't stop at cooler temperatures and colorful foliage — it also happens to be apple season. One of the easiest and most delicious ways to enjoy apples is by baking them. Baked apples embody all of the flavors of an apple pie sans crust. They're as easy to eat as they are to prepare, and the best part is that you don't even need an oven! With just a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy this autumnal treat in under 15 minutes.

Baked apples are usually made in the oven (hence the "baked" part of the name) with a little butter, sugar, and warming spices. Most recipes call for cinnamon, but you can dress them up with any baking spices you enjoy, such as ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg, or allspice. If you really want to up the fall ante, use a little pumpkin spice. But, you absolutely do not need an oven to enjoy baked apples. You can get the job down with a microwave or on the stovetop, making the process as easy as pushing a few buttons or breaking out your favorite skillet.

The stovetop method

There are a number of apple varieties that are best suited to baking. Some of the more common (and best tasting) are Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Jonagold. You can even opt for Granny Smith if you're looking for a tart twist. Use any fat of your liking — butter is traditional, but feel free to use coconut oil or a butter substitute if you're avoiding dairy.

Begin by cleaning and chopping your apples. You can peel the apples if you prefer, but it's not necessary. Place the apple chunks in a skillet with a little bit of water over medium heat and cook until they begin to soften — this should only take a few minutes. Add the butter, spices, sweetener of your choice (maple syrup is a match made in heaven), a pinch of salt, and even vanilla extract if you like. Let this cook uncovered until the apples begin to caramelize. Be sure to stir often to prevent sticking and scorching. Baked apples are made to be enjoyed warm but will also keep well in an airtight container for up to five days.

The microwave method

When making baked apples in the microwave, you don't even need to cut them up: Simply use a clean, cored, whole apple. Leave the bottom of the apple intact when coring so that the filling doesn't leak all over the place. In a small dish, mix together brown sugar and baking spices, then spoon the mixture into the hollowed-out apple. Top each seasoned apple with a thick pat of butter, then place your apples in a microwave-safe dish and cook on high for 2-4 minutes until tender. Be sure to let the dish cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

This is possibly the simplest way to enjoy all of the baked apple goodness with hardly any preparation or cleanup. If you want to take your baked apple to the next level and you happen to have a pint of ice cream hanging out in the freezer, make it à la mode. Baked apples are a lovely addition to oatmeal or waffles in the morning and will keep beautifully in the fridge. The next time you're craving a seasonally appropriate dessert and don't have the time or will to bake a whole pie, give baked apples a whirl. This is bound to become your new favorite way to enjoy apples.