To learn more, read "What to Eat Now: Apples" in our National edition.
Baked Apples with Oats, Bacon, Chocolate and Raisins
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
2 bacon strips, finely chopped
4 crisp apples
2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon finely chopped dark chocolate (or small chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons finely chopped raisins
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Calvados, divided
½ cup apple juice or apple cider
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until it is browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate, saving the bacon fat.
2. Trim off a thin slice from the bottom of each apple so it stands upright. Use an apple corer or melon baller to make a wide well in the center of each apple, discarding the seeds. Set the apples in a square baking dish.
3. In a medium bowl mix, together the oats, chocolate, raisins, crispy bacon and 1 tablespoon of the warm bacon fat. Divide 2 tablespoons of Calvados among the apple cavities, then stuff each apple with some of the bacon-oat mixture.
4. To the baking dish, add the remaining ½ cup of Calvados and the apple juice. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top of each apple and top each with a ½ tablespoon of butter. Add the cinnamon sticks to the baking dish and bake the apples for 25 minutes.
5. Baste the apples with the liquid, then loosely tent the apples with a piece of aluminum foil and continue to bake until a paring knife easily slips into an apple, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool 15 minutes before serving with the roasting juices.
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