Happy post-Thanksgiving! What kind of cranberry sauce did you have this year? We made a beautiful cranberry-pomegranate sauce and although it was a hit, we still had a quite a bit left over. If you adore cranberry sauce as much as we do, you could probably eat it by the spoonful, but here's another idea: baked apples. We briefly considered using our leftover cranberry sauce to make a tart until we realized that a) the last thing we needed was another rich dessert, and b) after cooking for the better part of two days, we weren't in the mood to make anything too elaborate! These baked apples were a good choice – uncomplicated, not heavy, and just lovely for dessert or breakfast.
This recipe should work whether your cranberry sauce is canned, basic DIY, or something with frills. If your sauce already contains spices, herbs, fruit, or nuts, chances are they will go nicely with apples. If your sauce is the canned or basic variety, you can leave it as is or add a pinch of this or that before stuffing the apples.
Baked Apples with Cranberry Sauce
2/3 cup cranberry sauce (or less, depending on size of apples)
1 tablespoon butter
Optional additions to cranberry sauce: spices (allspice, cinnamon, cloves), ginger (ground, freshly grated, or candied), orange or lemon zest, dried fruit, chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Core apples (using an apple corer, melon baller, or paring knife), leaving 1/2 inch intact at the bottom. Peel top 1 inch of each apple and rub with lemon to prevent discoloration.
If desired, mix additional ingredients into cranberry sauce.
Fill apples with cranberry sauce. Top each with a 1/4 tablespoon pat of butter.
Place apples in a baking dish and fill with 1/2 inch water.
Bake, basting every 15 minutes, until apples are tender when pierced with a knife, about 45-60 minutes.
Serve warm. If desired, serve with yogurt, whipped cream, crème fraîche, or ice cream.
(Images: Emily Ho)