One of the best parts of growing up in the northeast is the beauteous fall season and all of its renderings. I think many will identify with me when I say that apple picking was a favorite past time of my childhood, which has now carried into my adulthood. Every year I can’t wait to get home and whip up a batch of my crazy easy baked apples.
This year I decided to vamp up the recipe by braising cranberries in wine. If you would like to keep the recipe alcohol free, the wine can be replaced by water. The purpose of this step is to rehydrate the cranberries. If dried cranberries are baked, they will absorb all of the moisture from the apple, rendering this creation dry. In addition, any cranberries that are exposed in the baking process will burn.
The most important element of this recipe is what kind of apple is being used. Only Fuji, Granny Smith or Rome are considered to be appropriate “baking” apples. I have made the mistake of using McIntosh and Gala apples that came out mushy and off-putting.
prep time: 45 mins
- 6 Fuji apples
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (no added sugar)
- 1/2 cup red wine or red cooking wine
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Set the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a 9×13 glass baking dish with 1 inch of water and set aside. Thoroughly wash and core the apples about 3/4 of the way through, ensuring not to pierce through the bottom. Bring the wine (or water) to a simmer in a sauce pan and add the cranberries. Allow to simmer for approximately 3-5 minutes or until the cranberries are reconstituted and plump. If there is any excess liquid, strain it out and set the cranberries aside. In the mean time, evenly mix coconut, pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add in coconut oil, maple syrup and cranberries, and toss to combine. Stuff the apples to the top and carefully place them upright in the baking dish filled with water. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve while warm.