Stuffed with brown sugar, oats and nuts and cooked in a combination of cider and bourbon, these baked apples are an irresistible fall dessert, especially when topped with a scoop of ice cream. For best results, choose firm apples, such as Pink Ladys, which won’t collapse when baked.—Jessica Battilana
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Core the apples, leaving the bottom of each intact, then slice about 1/2 inch off the top (stem side) of each apple.
In a small bowl, combine the oats, sugar, flour, pecans, cinnamon and salt, and mix to combine. Add the cubed butter, and with your fingers, work the butter into the oat mixture until it’s in pea-size pieces.
Stuff each apple with some of the mixture, mounding more of it on top, then set the apples in a baking dish.
Pour the cider and bourbon into the pan around the apples, then cover the pan with foil. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes more, until the apples are soft and the topping is browned. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the apples to a serving platter.
Pour the cider-bourbon mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, monitoring carefully so it doesn’t burn, until the liquid is reduced to a thick, sticky glaze. Pour over the apples.
Top each apple with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and serve immediately.
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