- 1 ⅛ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 8 medium baking apples, Terhune Orchards Stayman Winesap
Stir together the sugar and water in a deep, heavy-bottomed 2-3 qt pot. Set over high heat and let the sugar cook at a rapid boil for 8-10 minutes, without stirring or shaking. When the syrup starts to caramelize, swirl the pan to spread the color. The moment it reaches a dark caramel shade, remove the pan from the heat. Using potholder gloves or a towel to protect your hands, pour in the cream, stirring constantly with a long wire whisk as the caramel bubbles up. When the cream is incorporated and the bubbling has stopped, reheat the sauce just to a boil, still whisking. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and core the apples. Slice just enough from the top and bottom of each apple so that it can stand flat on either end. Arrange the trimmed apples in a roasting pan, deep baking dish or casserole large enough to allow about an inch of space between them and with sides higher than the fruit. Pour the sauce all over the apples and seal the dish with foil or a tight ovenproof cover.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and uncover the dish. Using tongs or two large spoons, gently turn each apple upside down, reseal the pan and bake for another 20 minutes. Turn the apples over a second time, cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes and then test for doneness by pressing the sides and piercing with the point of a paring knife. The apples should be tender all the way through but not mushy. If necessary, bake for another few minutes.
When the apples are done, use a slotted spoon to stand each apple upright in a warm serving bowl. Strain the apple-caramel sauce into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the juices evaporate and the sauce returns to its original consistency. Pour or spoon even amounts over each apple and serve immediately. Top with a bit of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to finish it off.