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Brilliant Baked Apples with Vanilla Bourbon Sauce

Want to add a splash of festivity to your next meal? Then the perfect dessert is our Brilliant Baked Apples with Vanilla Bourbon Sauce. Rich, tasty, surprisingly easy, this baked apple recipe is everything you want in a sweet!

Cooking Time1 hr


  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 6 large baking apples (preferably Pink Lady or Golden Delicious)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 slivered peel of lemon
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees F.
  2. Cut a strip around the top of the apple. If you don't, as the flesh begins to swell from the cooking, the skin will crack and slip.
  3. Also, don't let the bourbon run dry (a good motto on any occasion). If it scorches, it will ruin the flavor of the sauce.
  4. Toast pecans in small ungreased pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Do not scorch. Remove to small mixing bowl.
  5. While pecans are toasting, core apples to within 1/2-inch of bottom, leaving bottom intact to act as cup to hold flavorings.
  6. Trim thin band of peel from around top of each apple and place apples in large baking pan.
  7. Add granulated and brown sugars to bowl with toasted nuts and stir to combine well.
  8. Cut vanilla bean into 6 segments and place 1 segment in center of each apple.
  9. Spoon liberal amount of sugar-nut combination of mixture over top of each apple and in pan as well.
  10. Scatter slivered lemon peel around apples and pour 3/4 cup bourbon into pan.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 until apples are almost done, about 45 minutes. Check occasionally and add more bourbon if necessary to keep bottom of pan moist. Remove foil, increase heat to 450 degrees and bake until sharp knife inserts easily into apple, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  12. Remove from oven and divide apples among 6 dessert plates. Remove lemon peel and, while pan is still hot, stir butter into reduced bourbon in bottom until it melts into smooth sauce. Spoon sauce and any bits of nuts remaining in pan over apples.

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