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Cider-Baked Apples

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Finally, a virtuous, yet fully satisfying dessert! It’s also incredibly simple—just whole, cored apples stuffed with dried cranberries, pecans, and a little brown sugar—and takes almost no time to prepare. Serve as a capper for rich meals or as a side dish for brunch.

NotesApple Notes: Pink Lady and Jazz apples are ideal for baking because unlike the skin of most varieties, theirs retains its rosy hue, even after spending 45 minutes in a 350°F oven.

6 servings

Preparation Time25 min

Preparation Time - Text25 minutes

Cooking Time1 hr

Cooking Time - Text60

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Recipe Coursedessert, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealbrunch, dinner

Taste and Texturenutty, spiced, sweet, tart

Type of Dishdessert, fruit

Ingredients

  • 6 large Pink Lady or Jazz apples (about 3 pounds total; see Notes)
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (35 g)
  • ¼ cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries (33 g)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) fresh apple cider
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, each broken into 2 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 9- by 13-inch baking dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set a rack to the middle position. Prepare each apple by first slicing off the top ¾ inch, stem and all. Set aside the tops. Core the apples with an apple corer, then arrange in an ungreased baking dish. Divide the pecans and cranberries among the apples, stuffing them into the hollowed-out cores. Cover with the reserved tops.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cider and brown sugar. Pour around the apples, then add the cinnamon sticks to the pan.

  3. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake. Check the apples every 5 minutes to check for doneness. They will be done when tender (test by poking with a sharp knife), but not yet splitting their skins. They should need about 15 more minutes total. Transfer the apples to individual serving bowls and let cool for a few minutes.

  4. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the pan, and pour the cider sauce into a pitcher. Add lemon juice, then pour the sauce over the apples and serve warm or at room temperature.

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