My recipe for Baked Apples with Cranberries and Pecans takes an all-time fall favorite up a notch. Just imagine a warm, tender apple with cranberries and pecans in every bite sweetened with orange marmalade for good measure. Top that with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and, wow!
Fall is apple picking time here in north Georgia! One of the nicest weekend afternoons you could possibly ask for in this part of the country is spending a day driving into the mountains and stopping at all the little apple stands.
It’s the time of year when the air is clear, the light is bright, the leaves are gloriously colored, and fresh apples are everywhere you look. It really is a not-to-be-missed annual rite in these parts.
One of my favorite apple treats and the one that I most look forward to each autumn is baked apples. Sometimes I bake them simply with a pat of butter, some sugar, and cinnamon. But sometimes I take it to the next level and top them with a mixture of dried cranberries and pecans, orange marmalade, and brown sugar. Add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and that’s my idea of the perfect dessert!
🥘 Ingredient Notes
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- Pecans (Pecans are my favorite and are one of our great Georgia agricultural products. However, you can always substitute walnuts or simply omit the nuts if you prefer.)
- Dried Cranberries (Give a lovely sweet-tart taste to the baked apples.)
- Orange Marmalade (Together with the cranberries, the orange marmalade adds a bit of holiday flavor.)
- Baking Apples (Choose a variety that holds its shape well for baking. Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Winesap are a few examples of good baking apples.)
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
🔪 How to Make Baked Apples with Cranberries and Pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Make the Filling Mixture
- In a small bowl, mix together all the chopped pecans, dried cranberries, orange marmalade, and brown sugar.
Prep the Apples
- Cut the apples in half and scoop out the core.
👉 PRO TIP: Use a melon baller or serrated grapefruit spoon to quickly remove the core from the apple halves. Be careful not to cut too deeply into the apple. You don’t want to create a hole for the filling to slip through.
Top the Apple Halves with Filling and Butter
- Set the apple halves, cut side up, in a small baking dish.
- Fill each apple cavity with ¼ of the pecan-cranberry mixture. Top each with a pat of butter.
Bake until Tender
- Pop the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the apples are tender. Be sure to baste them occasionally with some of the pan juices.
👉 PRO TIP: How to Baste the Apples — Simply remove the dish from the oven and spoon some of the juices accumulated in the baking dish over the top of the apples.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes.
- Serve them just as they are, or with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
❓ Questions About Baked Apples
You can easily make this recipe ahead. Prepare everything up to the baking step, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. When ready to bake, let it come to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and proceed with the recipe.
I do recommend dried cranberries for this recipe. If you want to use fresh cranberries, they’d need to be cooked first and then combined with the other filling ingredients.
Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Baked Apples with Cranberries and Pecans
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 4 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 baking apples
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, combine the pecans, cranberries, orange marmalade, and brown sugar. Stir together until well mixed. Set aside.
- Halve and remove the core from the apples. Place the halves, cut side up, in a baking dish.
- Fill each apple half with some of the pecan-cranberry mixture and a pat of butter.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until apples are tender. Baste occasionally with accumulated pan juices.
- Remove from oven and allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
- Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Choose apples that hold their shape for baking. Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Winesap are all good choices.
- To baste the apples, simply remove the dish from the oven and spoon some of the juices accumulated in the baking dish over the top of the apples.
- To make ahead, prepare everything up to the baking step and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to bake, let it come to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and proceed with the recipe.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on September 25, 2012. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.