Apples to delicious apples.
February 15, 2011 8:26 PM   Subscribe

I overheard about a recipe, in which an apple is halved and cored, baked in an oven for a bit, then the core areas are filled with pretzels, the apples are baked again, and voila, you have the cheapest, best desert in the world. Can you help me figure out the recipe?

After extensive internet searches, I cannot find the specifics of this recipe, and due to a tight budget I don't really have room for experimentation. I'm also aware of Banana ice cream, in which a person grinds frozen bananas with nuts n' such to yield a simple wonder. What are other simple, dirt cheap and simple dessert recipes (in addition to this) that don't require flour or added sugar?
posted by Philipschall to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
If added sugar excludes chocolate, I can't help you. But half a banana, cut crosswise, with a popsicle stick stuck in the cut end, dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped walnuts and FROZEN LIKE A POPSICLE is heavenly.
posted by Night_owl at 8:34 PM on February 15, 2011

No added sugar? Where's the fun in that?

I'm a big fan of a quick Bananas Foster - melt some butter, add brown sugar until it gets bubbly, add sliced bananas and cook to heat. Just before serving hit it with a dash of rum (you can also go flambe style for the oohs and ahhs, just don't set fire to your kitchen). Served hot over "plain" vanilla ice cream. I can absolutely promise you that anyone eating this dessert will want more and will sing your praises from on high forever and ever and ever.
posted by fenriq at 8:43 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

I think you may be referring to Martha Stewart's Pretzel Crumbles, which are indeed very delicious.

The only ingredient you need to make banana ice cream is frozen bananas. I make it almost every night. Sometimes I add cocoa powder or strawberries. Just break up bananas and store them in the freezer in a baggie until you feel like making ice cream and then toss some in your food processor.
posted by iconomy at 8:43 PM on February 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

Baked apples without the pretzels are very good and cheap:


* 4 apples
* 1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar or regular sugar or equivalent sweetener (like, Splenda), marshmallows, syrup (pancake, maple)
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

You can add optional raisins, walnuts, ground cloves.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Scoop out the core from top of the apple, leaving a well. You can use a melon baller as a scoop. Do not cut all the way through. Stuff each apple with 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter. Place in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until sugar begins to caramelize and apples are tender.
posted by fifilaru at 9:10 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Bread pudding is great, and you can add any fruit or nuts or whatever to it. It does require added sugar. (But I think you could use a lot less sugar... maybe 1/2 cup or a bit less. Or use condensed milk instead of milk milk and leave out the sugar.) I find it keeps really well in the fridge.
posted by equivocator at 9:14 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Leftover cooked rice or noodles is good for rice pudding or tapioca pudding - put a little vanilla, butter, cinnamon, raisins and a touch milk in a saucepan and add a handful of rice or noodles and stir until heated through and creamy. Eat it hot or put it in the fridge and eat it the next day. You can use any kind of noodle or pasta, just mince spaghetti and penne types to small pieces first. You can add maple syrup or honey or whatever if you want it sweeter, too.
posted by iconomy at 9:26 PM on February 15, 2011

Granita is an easy, refreshing dessert that requires no special equipment. It's a good way to use up ripening fruit. Blend fruit with water and a little sugar, freeze in a shallow dish/pan, and break up with a fork every couple of hours. There are endless possibilities: lemon and basil, strawberry lychee, clementine, or how about apple pie?

More obviously nonnutritive, low-maintenance sweets options include a four-ingredient flourless peanut butter cookie, homemade (and dangerously easy) peanutella, and hot cocoa blocks to swirl in a mug of warm milk.
posted by therewolf at 10:01 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Apple pie granita
posted by therewolf at 10:02 PM on February 15, 2011

Most of these recipes have added sugar, including the pretzel one, so I guess I'll add my cheap, fast, easy recipe ... clafouti. Here's Julia Child's. It's basically a sweet pancake batter poured over fruit. The batter costs almost nothing -- eggs are the most expensive part -- and you can use whatever fruit is in season or on sale. You can also use frozen fruit; I keep frozen cherries I picked up on sale in my freezer specifically for this.

You do not have to let a film of batter set on the bottom. You do not have to thaw the cherries. (Recipes order you to do both, but it doesn't matter.) It takes five minutes to put the entire thing together and you have DELICIOUS dessert in 45. When I have a dinner party after we've cleared the table, I'll go make one on the spot so an hour after dinner, when the food has settled, we have a fresh-baked hot dessert that only took me 5 minutes to throw together.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:11 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

One of the cheapest, easiest and tastiest desserts in my family is fruit salad using any cut-up fruit you have on hand to bolster a can of fruit salad, and with a sauce made of orange juice mixed with marmalade. You could likely make a sauce out of any jam you have a bit extra of. Cheap as chips and relatively good for you.

I know a baked apple recipe that's very good, but requires one of those Pillsbury croissant in a tube things. Cut some apples in half, peel, and scoop out the core. break open the Pillsbury tube and separate the dough - not into triangles but into squares; keep two croissants attached to one another, in other words. Put a spoon of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon in each apple half, and set down on the square of dough. Wrap the dough around each apple and pinch at the top. Set the little apple and dough packages in a greased baking dish, put a little water at the bottom, and bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes. Baked apples in flaky pastry. Cheap, but fancy enough for guests.
posted by LN at 7:49 AM on February 16, 2011

Banana boats seem like they would, er, float your boat. Basically slice through banana peel lengthwise, stuff banana with goodies (chocolate, marshmallows, cinnamon, butter, peanut butter, sugar, nuts, whatever), wrap in foil and bake until melty and delicious.
posted by geeky at 10:13 AM on February 16, 2011

easy apple crisp. Apples, peeled, cored and sliced, topped with thoroughly smashed ginger snaps. Older apples are okay, stale gingersnaps are okay. Bake @ 350 about 45 minutes. A bit of butter adds depth of flavor to the topping. I think this would also work well with peaches but have not tested.
posted by theora55 at 12:41 PM on February 16, 2011

I've done a camping dessert where I core an apple, crumble up a granola bar (one of the simple, nature valley ones) in the hole, and wrap the whole thing in aluminum. you can then bake it in hot coals or on a grill. it's a good, simple, warm dessert that doesn't require that you bring a lot of equipment with you (when camping).
i imagine you can do something similar with pretzels.
posted by scrambles at 6:25 PM on February 17, 2011

« Older Out of the way travel wonders?   |   Creativity Gadget Gift Ideas!! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.