Baked Apples

Serves 4 to 6. Recipe is by Corinne Cook, who says, “Adapt this to your liking by adding raisins or dried cranberries along with the nuts in the center. Mix the cinnamon-sugar proportions to your liking by adding more or less. Sweet Treat (Cajun Power brand) is a Louisiana product that is a cinnamon, sugar and vanilla mix, in a shaker container, that also can also be sprinkled over the pared apples.”

4 to 6 (¼-inch) thick orange slices with peel, seeds removed

4 to 6 apples (Honeycrisp, Gala, Empire, Rome Beauty, Fugi, Jonagold)

¼ cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon OR desired amount of Cajun Power Sweet Treat (cinnamon, sugar and vanilla mix)

1¼ cups apple or orange juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ cup chopped pecans

Dried sweetened cranberries or cherries, if desired

Raisins, if desired

2 tablespoons butter, equally divided to top each apple

Whipped cream, frozen vanilla yogurt or vanilla ice cream, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray baking dish that is large enough to hold desired number of orange slices with nonstick coating and set aside. Place orange slices in prepared dish.

2. Wash and dry apples. Core apples, removing all seeds, but do not go all the way through the apple. Core to within ½-inch from the bottom. Remove peeling from top ¼ of apple.

3. In separate small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon. Generously sprinkle the outside and core of each apple with either the sugar-cinnamon mixture or with Sweet Treat.

4. Fill center of each apple with chopped pecans or a mix of pecans with cranberries or raisins. Top with pat of butter. Place each apple on an orange slice, standing upright.

5. Heat apple or orange juice in microwave until hot then stir in brown sugar. Stir until dissolved. Pour in pan around the orange slices.

6. Place in preheated 350 F oven and bake 40-50 minutes or until cooked as tender as you like them. Baste apples 2 or 3 times during the baking time with the pan juices.

7. Serve warm with dollop of cream, ice cream or frozen yogurt over the top if desired.