1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a wide strip of peel from the top of each apple. Using an apple corer, scoop out and discard all traces of the core, being careful not to make the cavity too large or to pierce the bottom of the apples.
2. Arrange the apples in a glass baking dish large enough to easily hold them. Using clean fingers, smoosh a piece of butter down into the cavity of each apple. Then divide the 2/3 cup imperials among the cavities, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons. Pour the orange juice into the bottom of the baking dish and sprinkle the reserved imperials over the juice.
3. Bake, uncovered, basting occasionally with the juice until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, about 40 minutes. (If desired, during the last 5 minutes of baking, garnish the apples with the reserved “red hots.”) Remove from the oven and drizzle some of the baking juices over each apple. Serve with a little of the sauce poured around each apple.
From Holiday Baking. Text copyright © 2005 by Sara Perry. Photographs copyright © 2005 by Leigh Beisch. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
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