Baked Apples with Cardamom and Vanilla

Pairs Well With

Baked apples are forgiving in every way. Double or triple the recipe for a dinner party, or just make a single apple for yourself. Swap out the almonds for another nut, the currants for whatever you have in the pantry, or the liquid for wine, port, juice, or just water. Just make sure you serve it with something a little creamy.


1 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons currants
1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large apples, cored
1/2-2 cups Pedroncelli Port, apple cider or water (amount depends on the size of your vessel)
5 cardamom pods
squeeze of lemon
splash of maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a small paring knife to open up the vanilla bean lengthwise. Then, use the tip of the knife to scrape the sticky inner seeds of the bean into a small bowl. (Save the vanilla bean pod for the next step.)

Add the brown sugar, currants, almonds, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt to the bowl and stir to combineSet the apples up in a baking dish or roasting pan with the holes facing up. Stuff the holes to overflowing with the fruit/nut mixture. Pour the Port, apple cider or water into the pan so that it comes about an inch up the apples. Throw the vanilla bean pod into the liquid, along with the cardamom pods, the splash of lemon, the maple syrup, and the nob of butter. Bake the apples, uncovered, until they are soft and bursting, about an hour. Remove the cardamom pods and vanilla bean pod from the liquid. Serve with lots of the baking liquid, topped with maple yogurt, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.