I had never made baked stuffed apples before this recipe even though I have often thought about making them... I'm glad I finally did since they were super yummy!
This great recipe came from an awesome blog, Eat, Live, Run. Check it out! And her pictures are waaay better than mine so this recipe looks a lot more appetizing on her site. :)
-4 large apples (the original recipe recommends Granny Smith; I actually used some Golden Delicious and Macintosh because that's what I had)
-1 and 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc. - whatever you have!)
-1/2 cup apple juice (I used apple cider)
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup
-1 Tbsp. butter, melted
-1/3 cup dried cherries (I used craisins)
-1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts (I used slivered almonds)
-1/4 cup cinnamon baking chips (this was my own addition - not in the original recipe)
-1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I think I used closer to 1/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the pumpkin pie spice, dried cherries, walnuts, and brown sugar (and cinnamon chips if you decide to use them) in a bowl and set aside.
Carefully core the apples, making sure not to cut through the bottom. Fully fill the cavity of each apple with the brown sugar mixture and place apples in a glass baking dish with the apple juice poured in the bottom.
Mix together the maple syrup and melted butter and drizzle over top the apples. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the apples are tender.
Love this mixture of ingredients!!
Please forgive me not-so-great pictures. It's so hard to take good pictures when it's nighttime and no natural light to help out!
My overall appraisal of this recipe? Awesome! It was super easy and on the healthy side as far as desserts go. The tender, baked apples were incredibly flavorful and the filling inside was delicious! As I mentioned above, I substituted a few ingredients (craisins for dried cherries, almonds for walnuts, apple cider for apple juice), and I added one of my own (cinnamon chips). The flexibility of this recipe also makes it awesome. There's a lot of room to be creative here! Now, if you were looking to make this a little less healthy and a little more indulgent, I'd say that a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream would pair very well with the baked apples, wouldn't you? :)