Baked Apples with Caramel Sauce

Source: Saveur Magazine October 2009, recipe by Emily Luchetti - Four-Star Desserts
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook

1⁄4 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
1⁄4 cup maple syrup (I used Grade B)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 firm Fuji apples, stemmed and cored
Ice cream, for serving

1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons dark rum

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.

Meanwhile, make 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 and ice cream.