Apple Cider–Baked Apples

Smartpoints value per serving
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
20 min
45 min
During the fall apple-picking season, try to find some apple leaves; they make a lovely garnish. Just be sure to wash them thoroughly with warm, soapy water.


fresh apple(s)

4 small, McIntosh variety (5 ounces each)

fresh lemon juice

3 Tbsp

packed brown sugar

4 Tbsp

unsalted butter

1 Tbsp, softened

apple cider

3 Tbsp

cinnamon stick(s)

4 average, about 3 inches


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. With a melon baller, cut out the apple cores without cutting all the way through the apples. Peel the apples and brush with the lemon juice to prevent browning. If necessary, cut a thin slice off the bottoms of the apples so they stand upright. Cut each apple crosswise into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices, then reassemble the slices to re-form each apple.
  3. Stir together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the butter in a small bowl. Stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and the apple cider in another small bowl. Place the apples in a pie plate; fill the cavities with the butter mixture, then pour the cider mixture on top. Bake, basting 3 times, about 25 minutes.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Place the cinnamon sticks in the cavities of the apples. Bake, basting 3 more times, until the apples are tender and the juices are thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Transfer an apple to each of 4 plates and spoon the syrup over. Garnish with apple leaves (if using) and serve at once. Yields 1 apple per serving.


Add apple leaves, for garnish (optional).

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