These slow-cooker “baked” apples are delicious served for breakfast or as a homey dessert. I serve them whole for breakfast, sometimes accompanied with a nice puddle of whipping cream.
For dessert, I serve half-apple portions teamed with whipped cream, ice cream, or creme fraiche.
Baked Apples with Cranberries, Nuts and Brown Sugar
Yield: 4 breakfast servings, 8 dessert servings
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 medium Granny Smith apples, cored, see cook’s notes
1 cup apple juice
For serving: whipped cream or heavy whipping cream
Cook’s notes: An apple corer is a device that has a handle with a circular cutting device at the end. When pushed through the apple, it is rotated to remove the core to the diameter of the circular cutting device. If you don’t have one use a melon baller.
1. In a microwave-safe glass measuring cup with a handle or small bowl, melt butter in the microwave (just long enough to almost melt it, about 25 seconds). Stir to melt any onery un-melted bits. Stir in pecans, cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using your fingers, pack filling into apples and make a small mound on top. Place in slow cooker. You will have about 1/3 of the filling left; set this aside to use for serving. Pour juice around (not over) apples.
2. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours or high setting for 3 hours, until apples are tender. Transfer each apple to a shallow serving bowl. If serving for breakfast, pour a nice puddle (about 1/3 cup) cream around each apple and sprinkle cream with reserved fruit-sugar mixture. If serving for dessert, cut each apple in half and place each half in a shallow bowl. Garnish with whipped cream. Sprinkle each serving with reserved fruit-sugar mixture.