You can smell that crisp, cool, fresh scent in the air… fall has arrived! And I’m SO pumped.
And it’s not just because I’ve already chugged down the sugary, caffeinated perfection of one too many pumpkin spice lattes.
With the beginning of the new season, all kinds of fun activities will soon follow.
There is so much to look forward to within these next few months: hayrides, cornstalk mazes, bonfires, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, and my personal favorite, apple picking!
The local orchards here in western Pennsylvania are already bustling with the buzz of excited autumn enthusiasts, both young and old.
I still have yet to visit, but there’s plenty of time left to fill the trunk of car with pounds upon pounds of different pomme varieties.
But my latest obsession is this recipe for baked apples.
Filled with a medley of dried fruits and nuts, and baked in a lovely Jacuzzi of cider, this treat will warm you better than any cable knit scarf you’ll soon be sporting.
You’ll love this even more if you serve it with a huge dollop of freshly whipped cream, or one of our own recipes for homemade ice cream.
Ready to make a batch now? Go get yourself a freshly brewed cup of PSL, and meet me in the kitchen for some autumn-themed fun!
Got a surplus of fall apples? Give this baked recipe a try. Nuts, sugars, & spice combine to give you a taste enjoyed by so many.
- 6 apples (any variety)
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (divided in half)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into 6 pieces)
- 1 cup apple cider
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a large baking pan with raised sides with cooking spray.
- Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each apple so they will stand up straight in the pan. Slice the tops. Using a corer or a melon baller, remove the center and the seeds from the fruit. Carefully remove most of the flesh to create a “bowl,” leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh around the sides and bottom. Avoid creating a hole at the bottom, or breaking the apple.
- Place the apples in the prepared baking pan.
- In a food processor, combine the nuts, dried fruit, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pulse until roughly minced.
- Stuff each apple with the mixture, letting it overflow slightly outside of the apple for a rustic look.
- In a small bowl, combine the cider and the other 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.
- Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the liquid over each apple. Pour the remaining liquid in the pan.
- Top each apple with a slice of butter. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Place the apples in bowls and pour any extra sauce over them. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, and a dash of cinnamon.
Keywords: stuffed apples, fall, autumn, dried fruit
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Set out all ingredients needed: apples, nuts, dried fruit, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, butter, and cider.
Step 2 – Cut and Core the Apples
Slice the tops. Using a corer or a melon baller, remove the center and seeds. Remove most of the flesh from the inside, creating a “bowl” for the filling, leaving about 1/4 inch border of flesh.
Be careful when coring – you don’t want to the fruit to break.
You can discard the seeds, but keep the extra flesh to use for homemade applesauce!
Place cored fruit in the prepared baking pan, leaving some room between each piece of fruit.
Step 3 – Make the Filling
Step 4 – Fill the Fruit
Using a small spoon, stuff each piece of fruit with the mixture, pressing down gently. Let some of the filling pour out onto the tops for a rustic appearance.
Step 5 – Make the Liquid Mixture
In a small bowl, combine the cider and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar.
Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the liquid mixture over each apple.
Pour the remaining liquid in the pan.
Step 6 – Top with Butter and Bake
Cut the butter into 6 even pieces. Top each with a thin slice of butter.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the apples are tender enough to be pierced by a fork.
Remove from the oven.
When using smaller apples or when making a smaller batch, this is an ideal treat to throw into a convection style toaster oven – making this recipe studio apartment friendly.
Step 7 – Serve
Place each apple in a bowl, and pour the remaining sauce on each fruit.
Serve plain, or with whipped cream or ice cream. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon.
A Baked Apple a Day…
It may not keep the doctor away, but it will certainly keep you happy this fall.
Stuffed with a spicy, nutty mixture and baked with cider, these autumnal pommes will surely become best buddies with your jack-o’-lanterns, fall leaf wreaths, and pumpkin pie-scented candles.
And if you decide to add a splash of bourbon with the cider mixture… then we’re really celebrating this season!
Happy fall, y’all.
What are your best fruity recipes for the cooler months? How would you change up the filling or sauce? Share your best ideas in the comments below.
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 24th, 2015 by Jennifer Swartvagher. Revised and expanded on October 2nd, 2017 by Nikki Cervone.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best grub, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.