Apples to the 3rd Power by Rozanne Gold
Serves 4

         I call this “apples to the third power” because fresh apples, apple butter, and apple cider are used. The best apples for this dish are Cameo or Winesap. Serve slightly warm with a drizzle of lightly-sweetened crème fraiche or heavy cream – and add a shot of brandy to the simmering juices at the end, if you wish.

4 large apples, 9 to 10 ounces each
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
½ cup apple butter
1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup apple cider

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Core apples; remove a very thin slice from the top. Stir together sugar and cardamom. Sprinkle ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom sugar in cavities. Fill to the top with apple butter and smooth it with a knife. Sprinkle with more cardamom sugar. Top with a slice of butter and remaining cardamom sugar. Put in baking dish. Pour apple juice in pan. Bake 50 minutes. Remove apples with slotted spoon. Place pan on stovetop, boil pan juices 1 minute. Pour around apples. Serves 4