Oatmeal and pear stuffed baked apples

Photo by Erin Adams. Design by Susan McBride.

Susan Murray
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.

About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at gsmith@mountainx.com.

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