By Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating
4 large, fresh baking apples (Rome, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 tablespoons butter
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup apple cider (or water if you don't have cider)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Wash your apples then remove their cores to about 1/2 inch above the bottom of the apple. I used an apple corer in combination with a small, sharp paring knife – it was kind of messy/clumsy but worked. You should have a hole roughly an inch wide that does not go all the way through the apple.
2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt and pecans. Place the apples in a small baking pan – you want one small enough to keep all the apples upright but not so small that they're crowded – they'll bake better if they're not touching. Stuff each apple with the filling mixture and top with a small pat of butter.
3. Add the cider (or water) to the baking dish and bake the apples for 30-40 minutes, taking them out several times to baste them with the cider in the bottom of the dish, until they are tender, but not mushy. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
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