Baked apples are delicious for dessert or breakfast. p.j. notes that they’re a great way to use up slightly bruised or tired apples that are no longer appealing for just plain eating. To prep apples for baking, carve out the core, from the stem end down, leaving a small bit intact at the bottom. The hollowed-out cores get stuffed with sweet goodies before the apples are baked. Some cooks like to peel their apples, some like to leave the peels on, and some peel partially for a handsome presentation.

Here are some chowhounds’ favorite baked apple preps:

Mix oatmeal cookie mix, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, butter, and brown sugar. Stuff mixture into peeled and cored apples and spread some on top as well. Bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes (qtxniki).

Soak some raisins in dark rum overnight. Mix the raisins with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts, and stuff into cored apples. Place in a buttered baking pan with a little water in the bottom and bake until they’re as soft as you like. Pour a little fresh cream over each apple to serve (JenMarie66).

Peel and core apples, then fill the cores with brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and Penzey’s Baking Spice (a mix of cinnamon, anise, mace, and cardamom). Bake at 375F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F. They are done when you can insert a paring knife with very little resistance. You can thicken the pan juices with cornstarch and serve as a sauce; add more maple syrup or brown sugar to sweeten if you like (Kelli2006).

p.j. favors an ultra-quick version done in the microwave: Drop a few raisins into each hole in a cored apple. Fill holes with orange juice. Place apples in a deep microwave-safe baking container with a lid and pour a few extra Tbsp. of orange juice in the dish with the apples. Microwave for 3-5 minutes on high, or longer as necessary to cook apples to the degree of softness you like. Put each apple in a small bowl, pour juice remaining in baking pan over the tops, and serve.

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