We’re big, big fans of the hasselback technique. We’ve had smashing success with both baking potatoes and sweet potatoes—the thin, partial slices on top get delightfully crisp while the base remains tender, an infused oil or chipotle cream painted in between the slices. Hasselbacked apples (happlebacks!) were the logical next step—cinnamon-sugar butter between the layers, a crispy streusel sprinkle, and a dollop of ice cream on top. Simple, easy to make ahead, and delicious. I wonder what we’ll hasselback next? Choose firm apples with sweet-tart flavor, such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp; in our tests, Fuji and Granny Smith fell apart.
2 large firm apples, peeled, cored, and halved vertically
4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat vanilla ice cream
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Starting at the outermost edges, cut most (but not all) of the way through each apple half at 1/8-inch intervals. Place apple halves, cut sides down, in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; brush mixture evenly over apple.
Cover pan with foil; bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove pan from oven; cool 10 minutes.
Combine remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, oats, flour, and salt. Carefully fan open apple halves. Spoon oat mixture evenly over apples. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Turn broiler to high (leave pan in oven); broil 2 minutes. Serve with ice cream.
Make Ahead Tip: Cook apples in advance, but hold off on step 4. Cool and refrigerate baked apples until ready to serve; then top with streusel and bake as directed.