Slow-Cooker Baked Apples

This was the first baked apple recipe I had ever tried and I’ve made them over and over so far this fall season. I fell in love with the combo of ingredients that spell fall to me. Crunchy nuts, tart cranberries, sweet raisins and fall spices fill these apples, then they are topped with a buttery sauce. Vanilla ice cream would be an amazing companion served along with fresh whipped topping. For my husband and I, using 5-6 smaller apples with just half of the filling and using the same cook time worked best. The smaller apples were a better serving size. Enjoy!

1/2 C. salted butter, softened
1 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 C. chopped toasted pecans
1/2 C. golden raisins
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 tsp. apple pie spice
1 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
6 medium firm apples
1 large orange, juiced

Spray a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape bowl. Stir in pecans, raisins, cranberries, pie spice, zest, and ginger.

Cut 1/2 inch off top of apples. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out core and seeds of apples, making sure not to puncture bottom. Brush inside of apples with orange juice. Fill apples with butter mixture, and place in cooker. In a liquid measuring cup, add remaining orange juice and water as necessary to measure 1/2 cup; pour into cooker around apples. Cover and cook on low until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer apples to a serving platter; keep warm. Pour liquid in cooker into a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat until liquid is syrupy and reduced by half. Drizzle onto apples.

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