When I brought my Hazelnut Stuffed Pears to the Virtual Vegan Potluck last fall, I had several inquiries about baking filled apples. When I was creating the recipe for the potluck, I tried the hazelnut and millet filling in apples, too, but the flavor and texture didn’t work as well. I prefer my apples stuffed with a hearty, simple oat and walnut filling.

You can use my filling recipe below or try your favorite crumble topping. This filling works equally well with stuffed pears and also as a crumble topping for other fruit dishes. Just a note:  the apples don’t stay a nice red color after baking. It would be so lovely if they did!

Baked Apples with Cinnamon Oat Filling

4 baking apples (I like Braeburn, Granny Smith or Gala)

1 Tbsp dried currants
6 Tbsp unsweetened apple juice
6 Tbsp thick or regular oatmeal (gluten-free if preferred)
2 Tbsp whole barley flour or gluten-free flour blend
6 Tbsp toasted walnuts, chopped small
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp mild flavored or nut oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

1.  Heat oven to 350°.

2.  In a small pot bring the apple juice to a boil, remove from heat and add currants. Let soak while proceeding with the recipe.

3.  Wash each apple. Cut a small slice off the bottom of the apple so it can stand up straight. Going in from the bottom, carefully hollow out the core. Don’t go all the way to the top, just get the main core area. I think it looks nice when the stem is still in place.

4.  Drain the currants, saving the soaking liquid for later. In a medium size bowl, mix together the currants with the other filling ingredients. Fill each apple with filling and pack it in tightly.

4.  Stand all four apples in an 8″ square baking dish, or a slightly larger dish if necessary. Pour the juice and 6 Tbsp water around apples. Bake in oven until apples are soft, about 30 minutes. Time in oven will depend on type and ripeness of the apples. Remove from oven and place the apples on a plate, reserving the liquid.

5.  If you want to make the reserved liquid into a maple caramel sauce, you can follow these directions here in step 5.

6. Let cool slightly. Serve whole or carefully slice each apple in half top to bottom with a sharp knife.