- 7 large Granny Smith Apples
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 3 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- a pinch of table salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core, and cut one of the apples into 1/4-inch cubes. Combine them in a large bowl with 5 tablespoons of butter, brown sugar, cranberries, pecans, oats, orange zest, and cinnamon. Set to the side.
Slice the tops off the apples and reserve. Shave a thin slice off the bottom. Peel them, then use a melon baller to core the apple from the top down. Leave a large cavity, but don't puncture the bottom. Keep the diameter of the hole about 1 1/2 inches.
Melt the remaining butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once it's done foaming, add the apples, stem side down and cook about 3 minutes. Flip the apples, reduce the heat to low, and spoon the filling in the middle, letting a little excess spill out over the top. Add maple syrup and 1/3 cup of the cider to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven, and bake about 35 to 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the mixture at the bottom of the skillet.
Transfer the apples to a serving platter, then stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons cider into the sauce in the bottom of the skillet to adjust consistency and pour the sauce over the apples to serve.