Ruby Baked Apples

When I walked into cooking teacher Anna Amendolara Nurse’s sunny Brooklyn kitchen, sitting on the stove was a wide copper pan full of huge apples, gleaming outrageously, redder than red. Rome apples are a longtime favorite for baking; Anna buys hers by the bushel from an orchard in upstate New York.

Her secret in the following recipe is pomegranate syrup—grenadine, available in bottles in the “cocktail-supplies” section of the supermarket. These are quick and easy to make, and the sweet-tart pomegranate flavor marries nicely with the apples.

Ingredients

  • 6 Rome apples
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, or as needed
  • ½ cup grenadine or raspberry syrup

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. With a paring knife, cut out the core from the bottom of each apple, without cutting all the way to the center. Hollow out the core at the top of each apple, leaving a little of the core in the middle to help the apples hold their shape. Neatly peel the top half of each apple, leaving the lower halves unpeeled. Place the apples in a gratin dish or other shallow baking dish in which they will fit without crowding.
  2. Sprinkle the peeled parts of the apples lightly with the sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle the grenadine or raspberry syrup over and around the apples; there should be a shallow pool of syrup in the bottom of the dish. Bake the apples until tender but not mushy, anywhere from 35 to 60 minutes, depending on the apples. During the last 10 or 15 minutes, baste the apples once or twice with the syrup in the dish. Remove the pan from the oven and turn on the broiler.
  3. Spoon some of the syrup over the tops of the apples. Run them under the broiler, watching carefully, until the syrup just begins to caramelize, usually about 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.