Baked Stuffed Apples
When selecting apples for this recipe choose a variety with dense flesh that is firm, blemish free and with a nice heavy feel that has a nice blend of tart and sweet flavors. The firm fleshed varieties hold their shape better during cooking and produce less water. I used Arkansas Black apples but Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Rome Beauty are a few other varieties that are good choices for this recipe.
In a pre-heated 350 degree F oven, toast the walnuts on a cookie sheet. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Working from the top of the apple scoop out the stem and seeds with a melon baller. Create a cavity in the apple large enough to stuff, but leave about 1/2 an inch of the bottom still intact.Peel the skin from the top half of each apple.
In a bowl, mix together spices, brown sugar and butter. Add the walnuts and dried cranberries.Fill each apple with equal amounts of the nut mixture.
Place the apples in an 8-inch square baking dish or one that is just big enough for the apples to fit closely.
In a small saucepan, combine apple juice and honey. Heat the mixture over a medium flame until honey dissolves, stirring constantly.
Pour this sauce into the baking dish around the apples. With a spoon or pastry brush coat the sides of the apples with the sauce. Do not get any sauce on the tops of the apples.
Place apples in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Baste the sides once or twice. Apples are ready when they are easily pierced with a fork.
Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Time to prepare: 1 hour, 30 minutes.