When it comes to food combinations, whoever put together apple and cinnamon ought to be given a medal: the tangy, sweet, crisp apple just works so well with the spicy cinnamon.
That pairing alone is excellent for a quick snack, but if you want to kick things up a notch, well, you got to bring in the big guns: butter and brown sugar.
This fantastic recipe brings together the best of both worlds: a sweet treat AND a wholesome bite.
The natural sugars of the apple coupled with the spicy cinnamon, the nutty butter, and the earthy flavors of oats with a hint of smoky brown sugar and honey is already a decadent treat but since you’re going to be using an air fryer, it’ll help keep the calorie count down because you won’t need to add any oil!
Yes, this recipe calls for using an air fryer.
Don’t be fooled by that “fryer” name – you can just as easily make baked apples (and lots of other goodies like yummy roasted garlic with this gadget without having to go through a lengthy preheating process like you would with a conventional oven.
What are the best apples for baking?
In this recipe, I used Granny Smith apples simply because I loved their crunch and tart flavor, but you’re free to use other varieties as well.
The most important thing is that you need apples that retain their texture (tender but still firm) after the baking process.
Other varieties that are great for baking include Jonagold (tart and crisp, but needs to be used immediately as they don’t store well), Honeycrisp (very sweet and crisp), Braeburn (produces a very intense apple flavor after baking), Winesap (flavor becomes similar to apple cider after baking), and Rome (generally used for baking, since it does not have a sweet flavor when raw).
How to know when baked apples are done?
There are several ways of testing if your baked apples are done — first, the sight test. Baked apples will have visibly softer and somewhat wrinkled skin, and the color can change.
Granny Smiths, for example, will change from a vibrant green to a somewhat muted olive color. Winesap apples, on the other hand, will change from a vibrant red to a deeper shade of brown.
Second, you can do a “poke” test. Take a sharp knife and pierce the flesh of the apple with the tip. The flesh should give way easily, but still, be firm.
If the flesh is mushy, you may have overcooked the apple.The “doneness” of the apples will depend on your particular preferences.
Some people like their apples baked through and soft, while others may prefer a slight crunch.
You can play with the times and see which doneness you prefer.
How long to bake stuffed apples?
The baking time of apples will depend on the size of the apples, the variety, and how well you want them cooked.
In general, the cooking time is around 25-30 minutes for apples that are cooked through and soft, but still firm enough to hold their shape.
Firm and thick-skinned apples such as Winesap and Rome will take longer to cook compared to apples with thin skin such as Jonagold and Honeycrisp.
Quick and Easy Air Fryer Baked Apples with Cinnamon Oat Stuffing
You can make this recipe as a delicious and healthy breakfast, an afternoon snack, or even as a bit of comfort food during a cold day.
The smell of apples cooking in your air fryer with cinnamon and brown sugar is right up there with chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.
It’s essential to make sure that you’re using the right variety of apples because some won’t stand up well to baking (especially in the high heat of an air fryer), and you’ll end up with a pile of bubbling mush.
1. Since you’re stuffing the apples, you need to make sure that they’ll stay nice and upright since the air fryer. Most apples will stand up just fine on their own, but now and again, you’ll get apples that will tip over.
If this is the case, make sure to slice off a very thin section at the bottom to give the apple a flat surface. However, make sure to keep the flesh still intact, as you don’t want the stuffing to fall out.
2. Keep the butter cold until the last minute so that it’s easier to stuff inside the cored apples. While you’re prepping everything else, keep your butter in the fridge and take it out only when you’re ready to put the stuffing inside the apple.
3. Lining the air fryer in foil will help speed up the cooking process AND keep all the stuffing and juices away from the cooking surface; otherwise, you’ll end up with a sticky, sugary mess inside your air fryer that’s a massive pain in the neck to clean.
4. When coring your apple, it’s best to use an apple corer. However, if you don’t have one, you can use a sharp paring knife and a spoon. Paring knives are easier to use because they give you better control over your cutting. Rise and dry the apples, and carefully cut out the stem area with your knife. Using a spoon, you can then scoop out of flesh to around an inch-wide circumference.Here is a neat little video to help you:
5. Yes, you need to use a sharp knife because it’s way more dangerous to use a dull blade! Sharpen your knife beforehand if you must.
6. If possible, use steel-cut oats instead of rolled or instant oats. Steel-cut oats can soak up more juices and still be firm, but rolled or instant oats can turn mushy. You wouldn’t want to bite into an oatmeal-filled apple instead of an oat-stuffed apple, would you?
Can I Make Other Things with My Air Fryer?
Yes! Air fryers work well with other vegetables and fruits as long as they are starchy and have firm flesh.
You can experiment with other air fryer recipes using vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and zucchinis for a delicious and healthy snack or side.
Fruits like peaches and pears also work well in air fryers.
Ala Mode, Anyone?
If you really, really want to make everyone smile when you whip out this dish, get some vanilla ice cream ready.
The combination of the warm stuffed apple against the cold ice cream is truly one that will get people talking (and probably Instagramming too!)
This recipe is very versatile and can work as a breakfast, snack, or dessert. Depending on the size of your air fryer and your apples, you can tweak the recipe and increase the final yield so that your family and friends can enjoy the delicious dish.
However, there’s nothing wrong with popping in a couple of apples and saving one for later!
The dish will keep well in your fridge for about a day, and the flavors will develop and intensify with a little time in the refrigerator.
- 2 apples
For the stuffing:
- 1/4 c oats
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c walnuts
- 1/4 c butter, cold
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1 t honey
- Prepare the apples by washing them well and drying them thoroughly with a paper towel.
- Core the apples by removing the center and creating a large well in the middle (as shown in the video). Remember: don’t go all the way through the apple!
- Chop up the nuts and combine with the brown sugar. Take out your butter from the fridge, cut into small pieces, and mix well with the nuts and brown sugar.
- Line the bottom of your air fryer with foil, making sure to cover it well so that nothing leaks out. You can even crimp the sides a little bit to create a small “box” inside your air fryer basket to catch all the juices.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350⁰F.
- While the air fryer is heating up, stuff your apples with the mixture. Pack it well into the bottom snugly. If you have any apple bottoms you sliced off; you can use them as a little “cap” on top of the apples.
- Place the stuffed apples into the air fryer and bake for around 25-30 minutes, depending on the level of softness you want.