Chris and I bought a bag of apples at the Farmer’s Market over the weekend, we couldn’t resist the price ($3 for a big bunch of seconds!). We’re both apple fiends, so I was sad to discover that these apples turned out to be a bit past their prime, a little on the mealy end. Mealy apples are not meant to be eaten raw (in my opinion), but they are still perfectly edible and delicious in cooked applications. So, I whipped up a quick batch of skillet apples for a healthy-ish dessert for the week.
Skillet apples are simply apples cooked in a pan, and they taste a bit like apple pie filling. I made mine loaded with cinnamon, added some citrus notes, and a small amount of brown sugar at the end. The cooking process lightly softens the apples, taking away that mealy texture and replacing it with intentionally soft apples. I left mine with a little crunch, but feel free to cook these for a few extra minutes if you like yours completely tender. While this is a great solution for mealy apples, of course you can make this with fresh, non-mealy apples as well, it will all work!
I’ve been enjoying these apples as they are, but there are plenty of nice pairings if you want to dress these up. Serve with ice cream and/or whipped cream for a nice dessert when entertaining (or if you really want to treat yourself!). Try these with oatmeal or pancakes (or better yet, waffles!) if you want to give these the breakfast treatment. I think these would even pair nicely with some cheese for an afternoon snack, and I can confirm that these are good both warmed up in the microwave or cold, straight from the fridge.
Recipe down below, photo up top! I made enough for about 4 small servings, which is plenty of meal-prepped dessert in my house for a work week. Feel free to scale up if you’re feeding a crowd!
- 3-4 apples, depending on size
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Cut the apples in half (lengthwise, through the stem end), and then in half again (lengthwise, through the stem end) to create quarters. Using a knife, remove the inner core and seeds from each quarter of the apple and discard.
- Cut the apple quarters (crosswise) into ¼ inch slices.
- In a medium-large sauté pan, add the butter and melt over medium high heat. Once melted, add the apple slices and stir to combine. Continue to cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples soften and begin to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes.
- Once the apples have softened, add the cinnamon, lemon zest, and salt, and stir to combine. Remove the apples from the heat and add the brown sugar and lemon juice, stir to combine.
- Serve immediately for warm apples, and save the rest in the fridge for later if there are any leftovers.