These easy to make apple enchiladas soaked in sugary syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon and pecans make an amazing sweet treat for chilly fall evenings. Make them healthier by choosing whole wheat tortillas instead of regular ones.
This recipe was originally published on August 22, 2014, and was republished in September 2020 to add better quality photos, re-test the recipe, and add more helpful tips.
Who doesn’t love the combination of apples, caramel, and cinnamon? Tender apples, syrupy caramel, and some pecans for crunch; you know you are getting hungry just thinking about it. Add some vanilla ice cream, and I can’t think of a dessert that better represents fall!
Picking apples is one of those activities I look forward to every year. My mom has several trees and the whole family always gathers to pick bags and bags every fall. Now that the kids are getting older, it will be so much fun to have them join in more of the harvesting activities and celebrating. But until those apples are ready, I have my farmer’s markets!
When the fresh harvest of apples starts to hit the farmer’s market every year, it can be so tempting to buy them all. But then you are left wondering what to do with them. Pie or apple cake are definitely the first things that come to mind. Apple strudel is also one of my favorite autumn treats. But why not get a little more adventurous?
Rather than the classic pie, these sweet enchiladas are one of my favorite childhood desserts (though caramel apple pie cookies are amazing). Plus, making apple enchiladas using store-bought flour tortillas is so much easier than preparing and rolling pie pastry.
I used whole grain tortillas for these enchiladas. If you can’t find them in your local store (just like me), I have a really easy recipe for homemade whole wheat tortillas on the blog. It’s way easier than you think!
What is best variety of apple to use?
In recent years, with more and more varieties of apples becoming common at the market or store, it can be hard to know which ones to use with what recipe. In general, tart, crisp apples are the best for baking.
While they may seem a bit sour to eat plain, Granny Smith apples are perfect for baking. With their firm flesh, they hold their shape when cooked and don’t turn completely to mush. That tartness is also great when it comes to baking, when you want something acidic to offset the sugars that are added to most desserts. But even if you don’t add a lot of extra sweetness, the sugars in Granny Smiths are nicely concentrated during the baking process.
Other varieties that are great for baking are Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Pink Lady, and Jonagold. All of these are typically a bit sweeter than ubiquitous Granny Smiths (with Honeycrisp being the sweetest), but excellent if you can get your hands on them. They all hold up well in terms of both flavor and texture for all kinds of desserts and baked goods. One of these varieties is great in this kind of recipe, where there are so few competing flavors. You can let the natural flavor of the apples shine!
Varieties to avoid
I would recommend avoiding baking with Fuji, Gala, or Red Delicious apples. While they are all very sweet and juicy when fresh, they don’t hold up well during cooking. Their flesh tends to turn mushy or granular when heated, resulting in a slightly less pleasing texture.
These varieties also don’t have those acids and extra flavors of the others. Once cooked – particularly if you add extra sugar – most of what you taste is sweetness. But Fuji apples do make great homemade apple sauce because they go so soft and sweet without adding anything extra. Perhaps serve some with holiday meal of herb-crusted pork loin?
Apple enchiladas make a fabulous sweet treat for those brisk fall evenings. Perfect for family gatherings and harvest celebrations. You could even be adventurous and serve them for breakfast with some unsweetened yogurt!
- 6 8-inch whole wheat tortillas
For The Filling:
- 4 cups apples , peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For The Syrup:
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans , for topping
- additional cinnamon , for topping
- In large bowl toss apple slices with lemon juice. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add apples, stir in coconut sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until apples are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Mix cornstarch with about 2 teaspoons of water and stir into apple mixture. Let cook until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Lightly oil or coat a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Assembling the enchiladas:
- If needed, soften the tortillas in the microwave so they don’t break while you roll the enchiladas. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the apple filling across the bottom of the tortilla. Fold in the sides, roll the tortilla tightly (see the picture above) and place seam side down on prepared baking dish. Repeat with the rest.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter, coconut sugar, and water on medium heat, stirring frequently. Once it reaches a boil, let it boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove it from the heat and pour the sugar mixture over the tortillas (reserve some syrup for later use). Let sit 10 minutes. Turn them over and let sit 10 minutes more. Turn back over so the tortillas are seam side down and sprinkle with cinnamon and pecans. Drizzle with the remaining syrup.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.