German Food Guide
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Bratäpfel (Baked Apples)

Kinder, kommt und ratet, was im Ofen bratet! ... den Zipfel, den Zapfel, den Kipfel, den Kapfel, den knusprigen Apfel.

This is a children's rhyme in Bavaria ... "Children, come and guess what is baking in the oven ... A zipfel, a zapfel, the kipfel, the kapfel, the crispy baked apple."

Bratäpfel, baked apples, has traditionally been a dessert on Nikolaus Day (Nikolaustag), December 6th. On this day, Nikolaus is said to "sneak" into the house and leave the children candy, chocolate, fruits, or small presents in stockings or socks that they have hung-up for him. Historically, Nikolaus represents Nikolaus von Myra, a bishop from Asia Minor, who died on December 6th in the 4th century. Not too much is known about this man, except that he was known for his kindness and good deeds, especially toward children.

The baked apples symbolize both Nikolaus' generosity and the bags of coins that he gifted to the poor.

Bratäpfel, although still very popular during Christmas, are enjoyed throughout the cold winter months. Baking the apples, while its cold and snowy outside, makes the house warm and cozy. 

       Bratäpfel (Baked Apples)
Photo: © Barbara Pheby -
Throughout Germany 

Main Ingredients
The best apples to use are firm, tart apples, like Granny Smith or Jonathan.

Apples are cored and filled with almonds, raisins, sugar, honey, cinnamon, and/or chocolate. Some recipes fill the apples with dark chocolate and boysenberry jelly, then topped with dried fruits and/or almonds. The apples are then baked until the apple-peel begins to split or shrivel.

Serving Suggestions
Traditionally served with a vanilla sauce. A more trendy sauce would be a wine-foam made with a sweet white wine.

Bratäpfel  (Baked Apples)
Weihnachts - Bratapfel  (Christmas Baked Apple)
Bratäpfel im Nussmantel  (Baked Apples with Nut Crust)
Bratäpfel mit Schokolade  (Baked Apples with Chocolate)

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