Cider Baked Apples with Pecans

Source: Food52, member recipe by Sally
adapted by http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com

2 1/2 cups apple cider
6 Fuji apples (or any firm cooking apple)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Pour the cider into a small skillet and bring it to a boil. On medium heat, continue to boil until the liquid reduces by a little less than half. It should be somewhat syrupy, but it won't be very thick. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil out.

While the cider is reducing, peel the skin from the top third of each apple. Use a melon baller or an apple corer to dig out the core. Place the apples in a baking dish. Stuff the pecans into the apple cavities. Sprinkle some pecans in the baking dish.

Stir the cinnamon, butter and brown sugar into the cider syrup. Pour it into the apple cavities, allowing it to overflow into the baking dish. Bake the apples for 40 to 50 minutes, until they are soft and tender, but not mush. Baste the apples occasionally in the cider syrup. Add more cider if it needs more liquid. The actual cooking time will depend on the size of the apples, larger apples may take longer.

Serve the apples warm with the syrup and pecans spooned over them. It's also nice topped with ice cream, whipped cream, yogurt or a cream anglaise.
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