Baked Apples with Caramel Sauce

For the baked apples:


1⁄4 cup sugar

1⁄4 cup maple syrup

4 tbsp. unsalted butter,

at room temperature

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt

6 firm Fuji apples, stemmed and cored

For the caramel sauce:

1 1⁄2 cups sugar

1⁄3 cup heavy cream

1⁄2 cup raisins

2 tbsp. dark rum1/4 cup pecans, toasted, for garnish


 Make the baked apples: Heat oven to 325°. Combine sugar, syrup, butter, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Cut 1⁄4" from bottom of apples so that they sit flat; transfer apples to a 9" x 13" baking pan. Fill hollow cores with reserved sugar–syrup mixture. Cover apples with foil; bake until tender, about 50 minutes.( Mine took longer than 50 minutes to get really soft.)

Put raisins into a small bowl, add rum and let soak while making the caramel sauce. 

Heat sugar and 1⁄2 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring, until amber colored and a candy thermometer inserted into syrup reads 330˚, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let cool slightly. Add cream (caramel will bubble up slightly). Stir in raisins and rum; set aside. Serve apples with caramel sauce, toasted pecans, and ice cream, if desired.