Slow Cooker Baked Apples

I typically associate baked apples with fall.  But they are much too delicious to only eat them for one season!  Besides, our farmer's market offers apples year-round thanks to the orchards large storage space.  So, baked apples in the heart of winter are just as delicious for dessert or a snack as they are in the fall.

I use a fairly small amount of maple syrup.  You can certainly drizzle more over the top once they've finished baking if your hungry group prefers them a bit sweeter.  Sometimes I add a handful of scrumptious homemade granola instead of the nuts and raisins.  That's equally delicious.

Throw these in the slow-cooker once dinner is up and running, and by the time your family is getting a sweet tooth, you'll be enjoying piping hot, freshly made dessert.  Now that's the perfect end to the day!

Slow-Cooker Baked Apples
serves 4

4 large baking apples
1/2 cup golden or regular raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups apple juice or apple cider

Wash the apples. Remove the tops by cutting straight across (see photo) and then remove the core.  ( I find using a small spoon or scoop is easiest to do this).  Discard the core but keep the top.  

Pour the juice or cider in the bottom of the slow-cooker and set the apple bottoms in the slow-cooker, scooped side up.  Fill the scooped out center with the raisins & walnuts, dividing them evenly.  Pour 1 Tablespoon of melted butter over the walnut-raisin mixture of each apple.  Pour 3/4 teaspoon of maple syrup over the walnut-raisin mixture of each apple.  Sprinkle the apple fillings with cinnamon.  Top each with their previously cut off tops.

Cover and cook 2 1/2 - 3 hours on low, until apples are tender.  Your house will smell ahh-mazing!!!

Remove the apples using a spatula. Serve.

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