“Baked apples are so simple that I like to bake them once a week while apples are good,” says Rebecca Crane, co-owner of Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant and Winery. “Choose any apple except Red Delicious. Michigan-grown Idareds, Jonagolds, and Fuji are just a few of my favorites for baking. Do not leave out on the nuts! This is best warm out of the oven, so put it in before you sit down to dinner and serve it with a scoop of Palazzolo’s gelato for dessert. Get ready for applause!”
Yield: 10 servings
Time: 1 hour 10 min
● 3 T butter
● 1 t orange zest
● 1 t lemon zest
● 1 t grated fresh ginger
● 1/8 t salt
● ¼ c Crane’s Cider Syrup
● ¼ c brown sugar
● 1 c nuts chopped in smaller pieces; can be walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts or a combo
● ½ c Crane’s dried tart cherries plumped up in hot water or Cognac or bourbon; drain
● 10 Michigan baking apples washed and cored; skins left on
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together the first seven ingredients until smooth.
Stir in the nuts and the cherries until well incorporated.
Fill centers of apples with 2 or 3 T filling and place apples in a large, shallow baking dish and place in the center of the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cover apples with foil and bake until apples are soft — about another 20 minutes.
Pair with: “A very sweet wine, such as a late-harvest Riesling or even a dessert wine. Iced wine would also be delicious.”