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Sausage and Pecan Baked Apples

Yield 8 servings
These sausage-stuffed side dish apples could almost be dessert, thanks to the delicious drizzle of maple-orange syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1 cup maple syrup, divided
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade, divided
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 8 Braeburn apples or other cooking apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

How to Make It

  1. Brown sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well on paper towels.

  2. Combine sausage, 1/2 cup maple syrup, pecans, 1/4 cup orange marmalade, and raisins in a large bowl; toss well, and set aside.

  3. Stir together remaining 1/2 cup syrup, remaining 1/4 cup marmalade, and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl.

  4. Core apples, starting at stem end, to, but not through, opposite end. Enlarge opening to 1". Peel 1" around tops of apples. Brush cut part of apples with lemon juice.

  5. Divide sausage mixture evenly between each apple, packing firmly and mounding lightly on top. Place filled apples in an ungreased 13" x 9" baking dish. Spoon about 1 tablespoon marmalade mixture over each apple. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes; drizzle evenly with remaining marmalade mixture. Bake, covered, 20 to 25 more minutes or until apples are just tender. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Cool in dish on a wire rack 5 minutes. Serve warm, drizzling apples with remaining syrup in dish.

  6. Note: We found that Braeburn apples held their shape best during baking.

Christmas with Southern Living 2002