My personal feeling is that baked apples are usually quite a bit sweeter than they need to be. So, here you have this very simple, barely sweet version – with warm, fragrant spices, and just a touch of oats!
With the ease of gentle slow cooking, these baked apples turn out magically fork-tender and enticingly delicious on a cold winter’s night.
SLOW COOKER BAKED APPLES
1/2 cup water
3 baking apples (I like Pink Lady apples)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
6 small dried apricots, diced
1 pitted date, diced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Pour the water into the bottom of a medium 3- or 4-quart slow cooker.
Wash and core the apples, taking care to avoid puncturing the base of the apples. (A melon baller or a teaspoon works well for this.) Peel only the top third of each apple.
Into a small bowl, add the remainder of the ingredients (oats, spices, dried fruit, and maple syrup), and combine very well. Stuff the apples evenly, using all of the filling mixture.
Carefully place the apples into the slow cooker. Cover and bake for 2 hours – on the low setting for a newer slow cooker, or the high setting for an older one, or until the apples are just tender. (Each slow cooker seems to have its own personality.)