Carolina Bed & Breakfast
Six whole apples
One ripe pear, peeled and finely diced.
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon dried cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoon raisins, chopped
1/3 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoon oatmeal
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup apple cider
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider
Chopped spiced pecans
If the apples don’t sit up straight by themselves, cut a small slice off the bottom so they do. Slice the tops off all the apples and save them. Peel the apples completely, then use a melon baller or small spoon to carve out the core and make a good-sized cavity in the apple, being careful not to cut through the bottom.
Mix together the diced pear, brown sugar, cranberries, raisins, pecans, oatmeal, zest, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add the butter and mix together. Set aside.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat until it foams up. Place the apples in the skillet top-side down, and cook until the top is browned — about 4-5 minutes. Remove the apples, let them cool then stuff them with the pear, cranberry and nut mixture.
Place the apples in a heavily buttered baking pan and replace the tops to protect the filling while they cook. Pour 1/3 cup of apple cider into the pan. You can now either refrigerate them overnight and cook them in the morning or cook them right away. Either way, bake them in a 350-degree oven for 40-50 minutes until done.
While the apples are cooking, mix together 1/2 cup each of syrup and cider and warm gently. Serve the apples with a little of the warmed syrup and cider mixture and garnish with some chopped spiced pecans.
This recipe is from Murray’s new cookbook, Our Family Table: Recipes and Lessons from a Life Abroad. The book is for sale now at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 55 Haywood St., and the Asheville Visitor Center, 36 Montford Ave. It can be ordered at carolinabb.com.