Maple Baked Apples with Dried Cherries and Walnuts

Source: Epicurious, January 2002 – recipe by Claudia Fleming with Melissa Clark
adapted by http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com

1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons roughly chopped dried cherries
4 tablespoons roughly chopped walnuts
6 large, firm baking apples, such as Cortlands, cored but not peeled (I used Jonagolds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, dried fruit, and nuts.

Place the apples in a baking pan or casserole dish and stuff the cavities with the cherry and nut mixture. Place a small piece of butter on top of the stuffing. Pour the apple juice and maple syrup on the bottom of the baking pan, and drizzle a little on top of the apples. Bake the apples, until they are tender, about 30 - 35 minutes, making sure to baste every ten minutes.

When the apples are tender, transfer them to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour the pan juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer the mixture and reduce it until it becomes a syrupy sauce, about 10 minutes. Serve over the apples.

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