Baked apples made with pecans, brown sugar and dried fruit are cooked in a cinnamon and maple syrup sauce all made in the slow cooker. Add this to your list of easy fall desserts.
Baked apples are an easy dessert to make any time of the year, but they really seem to hit the mark in the fall. These baked apples are stuffed with nuts and dried fruit. Butter, brown sugar and maple syrup cook up to form a delicious caramel like syrup that makes these baked apples taste like apple pie.
Normally baked apples are baked in the oven. But cooking them in your slow cooker makes for an easy dessert recipe that you can let cook while you prepare dinner.
Slow Cooker Caramel Pecan Baked Apple Recipe
What Apples Should You Use?
Every recipe on earth says to choose a firm apple, like a Granny Smith, for cooking. But use the apples you like best. We love Gala apples so that’s what I use for almost all my cooking or baking of apples.
Start by slicing the top off your apples and then coring them. Put the cored apples in a lemon juice bath to keep them from browning while you prepare the filling and sauce.
Next prepare the baked apple filling. The filling is made with pecans, sugar, butter, and dried fruit. Use any type of small dried fruit. We used dried cherries, but cranberries or raisins would be nice and are easier to find.
What Size Slow Cooker Do You Need?
It will depend on how many apples you make. You want the slow cooker to be comfortably full, but you don’t want to squish the apples on top of each other. Four medium sized apples fit in a 3-4 quart slow cooker.
Once the apples are ready and the filling is mixed, it’s time to prepare the slow cooker. Pour maple syrup, more brown sugar, and butter into the bottom of the crock. This will cook up into an amazing sticky, caramel type of sauce that the apples will swim in. It’s so delicious!
Now, working with one apple at a time, remove it from the lemon juice bath. Use a spoon to fill the apples with the nut and fruit stuffing. You really can’t over stuff it so pack it in there.
Place the apples standing up in the crock of the slow cooker. Repeat with each apple.
Let the apples cook on low for up to 4 hours. The longer they cook, the softer the apple gets so if you want a firmer apple, stop cooking around the 2 hour mark. The apples in the photos were cooked for 2 hours. They were soft but could still stand up pretty well on their own.
When the apples are done cooking, remove them from the crock to a platter. You can put them back in the slow cooker to keep them warm until serving after you make the sauce below.
Once the apples have all been removed, pour all the liquid in the crock in to a small sauce pan. Bring it to a boil and let it thicken a little to create a caramel sauce.
Pour the sauce over the apples and serve. These baked apples would be out of this world served with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.
Serve these baked apples as dessert with One Pan Sauteed Chicken and Apples as the main dish and Savory Baked Apples with Sausage Stuffing Recipe as a side dish! These are also perfect for dessert on Thanksgiving!
- 4 large Granny Smith or other firm apples
- 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 bowl of cold water
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup dried cherries or raisins
- 1/4 cup of pecans, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Mix the lemon juice into the water in a large bowl and set aside.
- Work on one apple at time. Slice the very top off the apple.
Remove the core and seeds and make a canal 1 inch thick wide that stop 1/4 inch from the bottom of the apple.
- Drop the apple into the juice and water mixture.
- Proceed with the next apples until all apples have been cored. Leave the apples in the water until ready to stuff.
- Place 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon of butter, pecans and cherries into a mixing bowl. Use your fingers to mix the butter and sugar into the nuts and fruit.
- Pour the maple syrup in the crock of a 4 quart slow cooker.
- Add in the remaining brown sugar and the remaining butter to the crock. Add the cinnamon stick.
- Again working with one apple at a time, drain the lemon water off the apple.
- Stuff each apple with 1/4 of the nut mixture.
- Stand the apples into the slow cooker. The apples may be placed on top of each other at an angle if necessary.
- Cover the slow cooker and allow the apples to cook on 4 hours on low or until the apples are tender.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked apples to a bowl.
- Empty the sauce into a saucepan and place the pan over medium high heat.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/2 cup and becomes thick.
- Pour the sauce over the apples before serving.
Make sure to check out all the recipes in our 30 Day Slow Cooking Challenge!