I was in New England a few weeks ago, at the height of apple picking season. I'm guessing they're all down now, but our apples here in Northern California are at their peak. There are so many great varieties in the market to choose from!
We first posted this recipe in 2006, during another trip east to visit my goddaughter and her family. A gang of us went apple picking and came home with so many we spent a week cooking them into pies, crisps, and these fabulous baked apples.
The girls and I used Rome Beauties, a variety of apple that is particularly well suited for baking this way. We based our recipe on one from the Joy of Cooking, with butter and brown sugar, and we fancied it up a bit with chopped pecans and raisins.
Growing up we always had baked apples served with a generous portion of vanilla ice cream, a combination I highly recommend.
For more information on which apple varieties are best for baking, check out our Guide to Apples.
"Rome Beauty" is the variety of apple that is best suited to baking, and is worth seeking out if you are making baked apples!
4 large good baking apples, such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup boiling water
Preheat your oven:
Set your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Cut out holes in apples for stuffing:
Rinse and dry the apples. Using a sharp paring knife or an apple corer, cut out the cores, leaving the bottom 1/2 inch of the apples intact.
If using a paring knife, first cut out the stem area and then use a small metal spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the holes so that they are an inch or so wide.
Stuff with brown sugar, cinnamon, and extras, dot with butter:
Place the brown sugar, cinnamon, currants or chopped raisins, and chopped pecans (if using) in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Put the apples in a baking dish and stuff each apple with the sugar stuffing mixture. Place a dot of butter (a quarter of the tablespoon called for in the ingredient list) on top of the sugar.
Pour the boiling water into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 30 to 45 minutes, until the apples are cooked through and tender, but not overcooked and mushy.
When done, remove the apples from the oven and baste them with the juices from the pan.
Terrific with a side of vanilla ice cream.
My helpers—Reilly and Alden, Piper, Teddy, and George.