Make the most of in-season apples with easy to make fruit and nut stuffed baked apples in cider caramel sauce.
Baked apples are one of those old-fashioned kinds of recipes that while sometimes forgotten, never really go out of style.
Maybe that’s because it’s such an easy dessert, made without any fuss or pretense, but that always manages to delivers on flavor making it a great choice for busy weekday meals. Maybe because it’s guaranteed to make you feel warm and cozy from the inside out on even the chilliest of days. Or maybe it’s just simple nostalgia, with the smell of apples baking in the oven bringing back fond childhood memories. Whatever the reason, baked apples are definitely a treat worth making at least once this season.
How to make stuffed baked apples:
In this recipe the apples are halved then stuffed with a mixture of dried fruit and nuts and baked in an apple cider syrup for the most intense apple flavor.
Cutting the apples in half rather than leaving them whole creates more surface area for the syrup to soak into the apples as they bake, with the end result being apples that are tender throughout and fully infused with flavor.
As the syrup reduces in the baking pan it thickens and creates a caramel-like sauce that’s then poured over the top of the apples as they bake and again to serve.
If you’ve gone apple picking and picked up a big jug of cider, this would be a good place to use it, but if not any sort of unfiltered apple juice will do the trick.
What apples to use:
As for the apples you’ll want a variety that’s considered a good baking apple, something with a nice flavor when cooked, that also retains its shape but is tender enough to eat with a spoon when done.
A few common but good grocery store varieties are: Pink Ladies, Sweeties, Galas or Jazz apples. Because every apple varies, you’ll want to start checking for doneness around 30 minutes but it may take up to 50 minutes.
How to serve:
As for serving, they’re equally good served warm from the oven, plain or with a scoop of ice cream on the side, as they are the next day cold from the fridge with a dollop of yogurt.
More apple desserts to try:
Make the most of in-season apples by making stuffed baked apples in cider caramel sauce.
- 2 cups/480ml apple cider or unfiltered apple juice (plus extra for basting)
- 3 Tablespoons/45ml maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons/10ml coconut oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 small to medium baking apples, such as Pink Lady, Gala, Sweetie or Jazz apples, halved and cored with a melon baller
- ¼ cup/28g chopped dried fruit such as raisins, dates, figs and apricots
- 2 Tablespoons/14g chopped nuts such as pecans and walnuts
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F.
- Pour cider or apple juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently over low heat for about 10 minutes (the cider should be reduced almost by half). Whisk in maple syrup, coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt (the mixture should be syrupy at this point).
- Place the cored apple halves in a low sided baking dish (the apples should fit snuggly). Spoon chopped dried fruit and nuts loosely into the center of the cored apples. Pour cider caramel mixture onto and into the centers of the apples, filling up each half and pouring the remaining sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Place baking dish in the oven, and bake for 30 to 50 minutes, basting the apples every 15 minutes with cider mixture in the bottom of the dish (adding more apple cider to the bottom of the pan as needed if the syrup looks like it’s about to dry out). Test for doneness by inserting a skewer or sharp knife into the apples, the apples should be soft enough to eat with a spoon but not totally collapsed.
- Serve the apples warm with leftover cider caramel syrup from the bottom of the pan spooned over.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 41gProtein: 2g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.