This recipe calls for dried fruits, a splash of brandy, and a whole cinnamon stick, for both flavor and a charming presentation. Sometimes, I make them just with brown sugar or maple syrup. Other times, I use apricot jam or marmalade and Calvados, the orange-scented apple brandy. For some crunch, I might fill the apples with pecans and butter, and serve them with vanilla ice cream as the wonderful ending to a fall dinner.
In all versions, rinse the apples really well to remove the waxy layer.
- 6 Rome or Golden Delicious apples
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 6 tablespoons brandy
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, soak the golden raisins and cranberries in the brandy.
Core the apples, removing the seeds, but leaving the bottoms intact. Place the apples in a baking dish, and fill each cavity with the dried fruits and brandy, pressing well to pack it in. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, dot with 1/2 teaspoon butter, and stick 1 cinnamon stick into each cavity.
Fill the baking dish with about 1 inch of water and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar in the water. This keeps the apples from sticking and also creates a thin, syrupy sauce that you can pour over the finished apples. Bake until soft, wrinkly, and cooked through, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer the apples to serving plates. Strain the leftover liquid in the pan and pour over the apples. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.