Red wine boosts the fruit flavors of apples and figs, without making them boozy. You’ll love these baked apple halves—whip some cream or scoop ice cream onto the hot fruit. Baked apples in the autumn are a classic dessert, but why wait?
Roasted fruit can easily become colorless and mushy or burned and crunchy without a correct method. By starting our baked apple halves over direct heat we were able to evaporate some of the juices released by the fruit that would otherwise get in the way of proper caramelization.
Ready to Roast
Finishing baked apple halves in the oven allows the ambient heat to cook through the fruit while the fruit continues to darken in color. Pairing the fruit with Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, boosted the apple’s sweetness and a sprinkle of walnuts added richness and texture.
Best Apples for This Recipe
We recommend Gala apples for this recipe, but Fuji will also work. Gala apples are slightly floral, crisp and mildly sweet whereas Fuji apples are also crunchy and mildly sweet but not too acidic. Both are crisp enough that their texture is just right to use in baked apple halves.
Fresh & Dried Fruit Together
Apples and figs are a natural pairing on several levels. Even with not as acidic apples like Fuji and Gala, their brightness perks up the sweetness in the figs. Then, you’re also pairing fresh fruit with dried fruit so you’re getting two kinds of texture for a balanced dessert.
Baked Apple Halves, Whole or Slices
There are many ways to bake apples. We don’t discriminate between whether it’s better to bake them whole, in slices, or halves. You’ll love baking apples whole in our cider-baked apples stuffed with walnuts and figs. Peel and slice for our brown butter baked apple slices with figs (so good with vanilla ice cream on top!). And then you’ve got this recipe which shows you a method for baked apple halves with a thick red wine sauce the consistency of maple syrup.
Uncork the Red Wine
A low-tannin wine such as Pinot Noir works well so it doesn’t add too much astringency, but complements the fruit flavor of the apples and figs. Pinot Noir often has notes of red fruit too.
Stovetop to Oven Cooking
You will need a 12-inch oven-safe skillet for this baked apple halves recipe. If you have a cast-iron skillet, that will be great in this recipe because cast-iron conducts heat evenly. A Dutch oven would also be good to use in the recipe. Or, if you have a stainless steel skillet, that works too.
What you’re looking for is a cooking implement that can seamlessly go from stovetop to oven since you’ll be cooking apples on stovetop first.
Red Wine Baked Apples and Figs
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 Gala apples (6 to 7 ounces each), peeled halved and cored
- 1 1/4 cups red wine
- 1/2 cup (3 oz) Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Dried Figs , stemmed and halved
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup walnuts , toasted and chopped
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Melt 1½ tablespoons butter in 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Place apple halves, cut side down, in skillet. Cook, without moving, until apples are just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer skillet to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Flip apples and continue to roast until fork easily pierces fruit, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove skillet from oven (skillet handle will be hot).
- Transfer apples to serving dish. Being careful of hot skillet handle, return skillet to medium-high heat and add wine, figs, sugar, pepper, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Bring to vigorous simmer, whisking to scrape up any browned bits. Cook until sauce is reduced and has consistency of maple syrup, 7 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in lemon juice. Pour sauce over apples, sprinkle with walnuts, and serve.