Spiced Baked Apples with Cranberries and Honey-Glazed Pecans

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Thanksgiving officially marks the beginning of all things cozy season.  Sure, some of us may have started our coziness quest early with the first hint of cold weather, but tomorrow, it’s official.  We’re taking a ride to cozytown!  Coziness is one of my core values.  If I were to have a personal mission statement, coziness would be one of the main tenets.  Sure, it’s no secret that I love the warmer times of year, when I can get my hands in the dirt and grow things and get out and adventure, but there’s something special about this time of year.  For me it’s a time of coming in for creativity, long days of cooking, and wrapping up on the couch with a book or some knitting.  

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Today I offer you the coziest of cozy recipes, my spiced baked apples.  I spent the better part of last week hanging out with my family in a condo in the mountains, knitting, playing games, drinking tea, cooking, watching movies and getting crafty.  One night, I put a batch of baked apples glazed with honey and  spices in the oven and retreated to take a bath.  When I rejoined my family to play games, and I took my first bite of warm apple, I nearly melted into a state of elevated goofy-grinned coziness, and not long after, sauntered in a sloth-like stupor to curl up in bed.  

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I love how quickly baked apples come together, and how flexible they are.  The version I made on my trip last week was very simple–halved honeycrisp apples, baking spices and honey with chopped pecans.  For this version, I decided to add a few special things to make them festive for the coming season of eating–dried cranberries which infuse the apple cider cooking liquid, and some quick honey-glazed spiced pecans to crown the top (they also make for very addictive snacking while the apples are baking).  

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I wish you much coziness in the coming days, whether you’re cooking, spending time with your special people, or just doing something indulgent and comforting for yourself!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Spiced Baked Apples with Cranberries and Honey glazed Pecans

Serves 4-8

For the apples:

1 1/2 cups apple cider

⅓ cup dried cranberries

4 medium or large baking apples such as Honeycrisp or Jonathan

1 lemon, halved

1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted (optional)

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

⅛ teaspoon allspice

⅛ teaspoon ground clove

Pinch of salt
For the pecan topping:

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons granulated sugar*

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

2 pinches clove

pinch of salt

Additional equipment needed: parchment paper

 

For the apples:  

Preheat oven to 375˚F.  

Pour the cider and scatter the cranberries in a baking dish.  Halve and core the apples and rub the cut sides with the lemons to prevent browning.  Arrange the apples in the baking dish on top of the cider and cranberries.  Drizzle the melted butter and honey over the apples, and sprinkle the cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves on top.  Cover with foil and bake for about 55 minutes, until the apples are softened and steaming hot.  

For the pecan topping:

Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside.  

Cook pecans in a medium frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to turn golden, supervising closely and stirring often.  Add the honey, sugar (if using), cinnamon, ginger and clove.  Stir constantly for about 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the liquid thickens, darkens slightly and coats the nuts leaving just a little residue in the bottom of the pan.  

Spread the nut mixture on the parchment paper and allow to cool for about 20 minutes until the coating hardens.  

Serve warm, spooning some of the cranberry-cider liquid over each apple and topping with the honey pecans.   
*The honey-only version tastes great and has a crunchy, slightly sticky texture.  The sugar version gives the nuts a slightly crispier texture.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Spiced Baked Apples with Cranberries and Honey-Glazed Pecans

  1. Morgan McKenna

    Yummy!! Seems so simply, but you put some wonderful extra touches that I’m sure will make this a stand out.

    Morgan

  2. I love simple dishes like this. These apples look delicious and comforting. I am in Germany and I saw a cake made with whole baked apples.

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