Apple Cider–Baked Apples
- Total Time
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 juice3 Tbsp
packed brown sugar4 Tbsp
unsalted butter1 Tbsp, softened
apple cider3 Tbsp
cinnamon stick(s)4 average, about 3 inches
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.