I remember seeing Red Hots used as a seasoning in “White Trash Gatherings: From-Scratch Cooking for Down-Home Entertaining” (Ten Speed Press, 2006) by Kendra Bailey Morris and wanted to try them in my kitchen.
The following recipe for Granny Smiths in a Blanket has been adapted from Kendra Bailey Morris’ cookbook, “White Trash Gatherings: From-Scratch Cooking for Down-Home Entertaining.”
GRANNY SMITHS IN A BLANKET
1 ½ cups sugar, plus more for topping
1 ½ cups water
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for topping
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
20 Red Hots candies, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons butter (divided)
2 (9-inch) unbaked refrigerated pie crusts
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter the inside of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg and Red Hots. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter. Stir until candies have dissolved. Set aside in warm spot.
Cut each pie crust into 3 wedges. Wrap each apple almost entirely, except for the fruit’s hollowed top. Place the apples in the prepared pan.
Place a dab of the remaining butter atop each apple, then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over each fruit. Pour the hot syrup over the apples. Bake for about 50 minutes, basting with the hot syrup every 15 minutes or so. If the liquid gets too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of hot water to thin it.
Serve the apples warm, topped with ice cream. Garnish each serving with a few Red Hots. Makes 6 servings.