Baked apples and pears make a cozy addition to any meal of the day. Serve this maple, ginger, cinnamon, and thyme-spiced fruit as a vegan side dish or on top of oatmeal and salads.
Is there anything cozier than apples and pears baked with and aromatic mix of maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and thyme? For me, this is a must-try recipe whenever you have fresh apples and pears on hand.
It looks like a side dish at first glance, and it is, in addition to a bunch of other uses for any time of day, which I'm sharing below in case you're looking for a few ideas!
Baked Apples and Pears Ingredients
- Apples and Pears - Use a mix of both, all apples, or all pears depending on what you have on hand right now
- Oil - I like grapeseed oil but any neutral-tasting oil is fine
- Maple syrup for sweet and caramel-y flavor
- Ginger and cinnamon to add a little spice
- Thyme for freshness
What's the difference between Baked Apples and Pears and Roasted Apples and Pears?
Baking and roasting are similar cooking methods. The main difference between the two is the cooking temperature. Roasting occurs at higher temperatures, usually 400 degrees Fahrenheit and higher, while baking occurs at lower temperatures.
Because of the higher temperature, roasting typically creates more of that golden-brown crust that is so good. With this recipe, though, we're cooking the fruit on the stovetop before we bake so we can get in on that browning action without increasing the oven temperature to the level of roasting.
How to Make Baked Apples and Pears
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, heat up some oil in a Dutch oven or an oven-safe skillet over medium heat.
Once hot, carefully spread the apples and pears in a single layer flesh-side down in the Dutch oven or skillet and cook until the bottoms turn brown. Then, stir in the maple syrup, ginger slices, cinnamon stick, sprigs of fresh thyme, and salt.
Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven to bake for about 30 minutes, or until the fruit is tender with a strong, spiced aroma. Mmm mmm.
What's the Best Way to Serve Baked Apples and Pears?
These baked apples and pears are super versatile, especially during the fall and winter months. They work with sweet breakfasts, on salads for lunch, and as a side dish for dinner. For dessert, try baked apples and pears with a scoop of ice cream.
Use Baked Apples and Pears as a topping for:
For lunch and dinner, use this recipe as a component or topping for:
Can you make Baked Apples and Pears Ahead of Time? What's the best way to store them?
If you can, enjoy these fresh out of the oven, when they're still warm and the aroma is at its peak.
You can also prep this recipe ahead of time and store in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge.
Potential Ingredient Substitutions
- If you don't have pears, replace them with additional apples. If you don't have apples, replace them with additional pears.
- To substitute dry spices, use one teaspoon each ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and dry thyme instead of fresh ginger slices, a cinnamon stick, and sprigs of fresh thyme.
- If you don't have maple syrup, substitute honey or agave nectar.
Baked Apples and Pears with Thyme and Maple
- Dutch oven or oven-safe pan
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or oil of choice
- 2 large apples, cored and quartered
- 2 large pears, cored and quartered
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 inch ginger, thinly sliced (see note)
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half (see note)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus additional for garnish (see note)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven or oven-safe skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Spread apples and pears in a single layer flesh-side down in the Dutch oven or skillet. Cook 5 minutes, or until the flesh is golden brown.
- Stir in maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, thyme, and salt. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 30 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and has a strong, spiced aroma.
- Transfer baked apples and pears to a serving dish and garnish with additional fresh thyme leaves if desired.
Looking for more plant-based recipes with apples and pears?
Here are a few more to try:
Did you try this recipe?
Rate the recipe and leave a comment below, or tag me (@GratefulGrazer) on Instagram.
(This post was most recently updated on August 31, 2020.)