My mother-in-law, Sarah, used to come for a visit and we would go to an apple orchard a few miles away and pick a bushel of apples. Our favorite dish to prepare was stuffed, baked apples. The whole house smelled divine like apple pie when we were baking At the time I was a student in college and it was such a delight to pull a few of these out of the freezer and heat them up on a cold day after class when I was tired and needed a treat.
This recipe is a variation of what Sarah and I created years ago. In the original recipe we used brown sugar instead of maple syrup and we used nuts with no dried fruits. We also did another variation that we called “Red-Hot Apples” where we used cinnamon Red Hot candies and melted them down in a little water then poured it over sliced apple rings and baked them. These were really terrific with baked ham.
My friend, Arnie, puts his version of these baked apples in his smoker! I am dying to try that but don’t want to fire up my smoker just to for a few of these so I am waiting to try it when I have other items to smoke as well.
Baked Apples with Golden Raisins, Pecans and Maple Cinnamon Sauce
6-8 medium-sized baking apples like Granny Smith or Honey Crisp’s
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c golden raisins
1/4 c pecans, diced small
2 T butter, diced in small pieces
2 c apple cider or water to cook the apples in
Maple Cinnamon Sauce
Reserved apple cooking liquid
1/2 c coconut sugar, maple sugar, or brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Wash the apples and pat dry. Core the apples 3/4 of the way to the bottom of the apple.
Place the apples in a baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water or apple cider in the bottom of the pan.
Loosely stuff the apples with the raisins and pecans. Put a little of the maple syrup in on top of the raisins and pecans. Dot the tops of the apples with butter.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until they become soft but do not collapse.
Remove the apples from the oven and transfer to a plate. Keep the cooking liquid and transfer it to a small saucepan. Add the coconut sugar, salt, and cinnamon and cook until the sauce reduces and thickens. This will still be somewhat watery and not as thick as maple syrup. If you want it thick like syrup the water to sugar ratio is 1:1.