Recipe: Bubbe’s Baked Apples with a Twist

Remember how I reviewed Clautiere Vineyard’s 2005 Port? Well if you do, which you should because it was literally the post before this one, than you’d recall that I gave a sneak peak into my favorite baked apple recipe, and now I’m going to do the big reveal.


Check out that dark glaze!


My grandmother used to make me baked apples all the time, only she made them with Manischewitz wine, like all good Bubbe’s do. If you’re not familiar with Manishewitz, it’s a common staple in a Jewish home, oft seen at Shabbos dinners and Passover Seder tables. It’s a bright purple wine made from concord grape, yes, concord grape, and it’s sugary with an unpleasant burn. But in baked apples, it’s great! The wine shrivels up into a bright sweet jelly-like substance.

My late-grandmother

My late-grandmother

I decided, though, to add my own twist to Bubbe’s recipe, swapping Manishewitz for a chocaltatey port. I also added cinnamon and walnuts, which my grandmother didn’t include. The result was a much more savory-sweet dessert with a deep flavor, possibly from the nuts, which also add a nice crunch to the mushy apples. I wish I had vanilla ice cream to scoop alongside it. Mmmmm.


  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Port
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut in half, length-wise


Core apples and then cut them in half horizontally. Place them in a Pyrex pan. Scoop a small cube of butter into each hole. Sprinkle a little more than a teaspoon of sugar and a half-teaspoon of cinnamon into the holes, as well.


It’s OK to get sugar/cinnamon/butter on the peel.


Then pour the port, about a tablespoon and a half, into the holes. Lastly, cover up the holes with chopped nuts.


I forgot to take a picture after they were chopped!

Place the apples in the oven at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

You could also make these with a dry white wine. I’d just use white sugar instead of brown and skip the cinnamon. Red apples would work, too.


Review: Clautiere Vineyard Port

I had never had Port until I visited Clautiere Vineyards in Paso Robles. The winery’s tasting room is all about transporting you to a magical place of whimsy and they pull it off–especially with the secondary hat room. You’ve got to see these photos of me sporting the classiest of caps:




Now that I’ve embarrassed myself, let’s talk about the wine. I popped the port open this evening because I decided on a whim to make baked apples inspired by my late Bubbe and after drizzling the luscious dark purple liquid onto the bright green Granny Smith apples (how appropriate), I decided to pour myself a glass. I promise, I’ll share the recipe in an upcoming post.



It’s been quite some time since I tried the libation in the Alice in Wonderland meets Marie Antoinette tasting room. After twisting off the cork, you see the deep purple stain on its edge and cocoa and alcohol scents swirl up towards your nose.

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It tastes like Black Forest cake and cream, which gives it a semi-syrupy feel on your tongue. By the time it hits the back of your throat, you feel the warm tingle. This baby’s alcohol content is 19.2%, I think the highest I’ve ever had in a wine!

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Ports are typically sweet and strong and this one has the classic tenets.

Nuts and Bolts