Baked Apples (Pommes Bonne Femme)

baked apples with cookie on plate
Photo: Mike Krautter

Pommes bonnes femmes is a classic French baked apple dish. Marie-Aude Rose, the Parisian chef behind the much-lauded all-day cafe La Mercerie in New York, learned this version from her grandmother. The tender baked apples are finished with raspberry jam and toasted hazelnuts.


  • 6 baking apples (preferably organic, such as Honeycrisp), cored

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably European-style

  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange, preferably organic

  • ½ cup raspberry or gooseberry jam

  • cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

  • Toasted-Flour Cookies, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fit apples snugly in a medium oval baking dish (apples should not tip over).

  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar, butter, and orange zest until well incorporated. Transfer to a piping bag; pipe butter mixture into each apple, dividing evenly. Add 2 tablespoons water to baking dish.

  3. Bake, basting twice with pan juices, until apples are tender but not falling apart, 40 to 50 minutes.

  4. Transfer baking dish to a wire rack. Add a heaping tablespoon of jam to each apple; sprinkle each with a scant tablespoon of hazelnuts. Serve warm with cookies, if desired.

Cook's Notes

To let the flavor of the apples shine, chef Marie-Aude Rose prefers jam that is a maximum of 40 percent sugar and that doesn't use any preservatives (lemon juice and pectin only).

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