2 bacon strips, finely chopped
4 crisp apples
2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon finely chopped dark chocolate (or small chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons finely chopped raisins
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Calvados, divided
½ cup apple juice or apple cider
2 tablespoons maple syrup2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 cinnamon sticks
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until it is browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate, saving the bacon fat.
Trim off a thin slice from the bottom of each apple so it stands upright. Use an apple corer or melon baller to make a wide well in the center of each apple, discarding the seeds. Set the apples in a square baking dish.
In a medium bowl mix, together the oats, chocolate, raisins, crispy bacon and 1 tablespoon of the warm bacon fat. Divide 2 tablespoons of Calvados among the apple cavities, then stuff each apple with some of the bacon-oat mixture.
To the baking dish, add the remaining ½ cup of Calvados and the apple juice. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top of each apple and top each with a ½ tablespoon of butter. Add the cinnamon sticks to the baking dish and bake the apples for 25 minutes.
Baste the apples with the liquid, then loosely tent the apples with a piece of aluminum foil and continue to bake until a paring knife easily slips into an apple, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool 15 minutes before serving with the roasting juices.
bacon recipe source: Tasting Table Test Kitchen