These baked apples with cinnamon and pecans are a simple, easy, healthy, satisfying fall dessert made by filling apples with spiced pecans, raisins, sugar, butter, and rum and baking until tender and perfect.
These baked apples with cinnamon and pecans are sorta like apple pie without pastry obfuscating the filling or a crumble without the fuss of a topping. And with a lot less effort. Yet an ample and astounding amount of flavor.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Baked Apples with Cinnamon and Pecans
- 4 baking apples such as Gala or Granny Smith
- 1/4 cup golden raisins plumped in hot water or heated rum
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 1/2 tablespoons salted butter melted
- 1/4 cup rum or brandy
- 1/3 cup heavy cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Using a sharp pairing knife or melon baller, core the apples, scooping out some of the flesh but leaving the apples whole and intact. Make a slit near the middle of each apple to prevent them from exploding while baking.
- In a small bowl, combine the raisins, sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.
- Drizzle the remaining butter in a small baking dish. Place the apples in the dish. Stuff the center of each apple with the sugar mixture, packing it densely.
☞TESTER TIP: The apples will be full to the point of almost spilling over. Some of the sugar mixture may fall into the pan and that’s fine.
- Pour the rum over the apples and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the apples for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and spoon some of the pan juices over the apples. Bake, uncovered, until the apples are cooked through, about 30 minutes more.
- Serve the apples hot. If desired, with a drizzle of cream that you've lightly whisked or with a scoop of ice cream.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
We recently picked a bunch of apples and some of them were Granny Smiths. Since I had all the ingredients on hand, I decided this was the perfect recipe. While baking, the apples smelled heavenly from the cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum.
Even though I made the suggested slit all the way around the middle of the apples to keep them from exploding, they exploded anyway. Maybe I didn’t make my slit deep enough? They still tasted wonderful to my daughter and myself. Daughter and I liked the subtle sweetness followed by the tang of the apples themselves. We also enjoyed the flavor from the golden raisins and pecans. My hubby and son-in-law liked them, too, but said they would’ve liked them to be a bit sweeter.
The lightly whipped cream sent this delightful dish over the top. I’ll be making these again while apples are at their peak here.
The flavor of these baked apples was absolutely lovely. This is a really nice rendition of a baked apple with the addition of the nutmeg.
I used fresh grated nutmeg and I think it was significant to the taste. I also used Calvados Pays d’Auge (an apple brandy from France) which was perfect for this.
After an hour baking, the bottom half of my apples (below the slit) were still very firm and couldn’t easily be cut through with a fork. If you use really large apples like I did, the texture will be slightly off because they’ll need a lot longer to cook than the recipe indicates. I kept checking with the tines of a fork to be able to easily pierce the skin and flesh.
In hindsight, I would try to hollow out my apples a little more toward the bottom so they would be more evenly hollow with the top and thereby cook more evenly. Turns out that the size of this cavity counts! I would also double all the filling ingredients because of the large sized apples I used. Had I hollowed them out more evenly, they could have easily held twice as much filling. And what’s not to like about that?!
This baked apples recipe will be a star in the fall. I of course am making it for the first time ever on Labor Day weekend. But even on a beautiful August evening, it was pretty darn wonderful.
I was pleasantly surprised out how simple this recipe was to pull together! Hands on time was MAYBE 10 minutes. And they were perfectly baked at 40 minutes. The hardest part was letting them cool enough to not destroy our mouths.
I am not normally a fan of desserts with alcohol in them. But the rum in this one really lifts the whole recipe up and keeps it from being cloying. And I would strongly suggest planning on eating them the day you make them. I have a feeling they will not keep well. But even with only 2 people in the house, there was no opportunity to see how they kept. They were devoured very quickly.
This is a nice recipe that reminds me of my grandma’s kitchen. I made it with gala apples and I used vanilla ice cream
Originally published September 18, 2019