Meringue was piped into a dramatic topping for baked apples using a star-shaped pastry tip. Baked for a minute or two, it's still soft.
Core 6 apples by cutting a cone from the top of each with a paring knife. With a melon baller, scoop out seeds down to the bottom. Juice the lemon into cavity of each apple, and sprinkle each apple with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Place 3 apples on a microwave-safe plate, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until the apples are translucent and cooked through but not caving in, about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the microwave, and repeat with another 3 apples. This cooking time will vary from oven to oven, so turn them occasionally, and check the window periodically. They will bubble up with juices when almost done.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel, core, and slice the remaining 4 apples into 1/4-inch-thick wedges. In a large saucepan, melt butter over high heat. Add apple wedges, and toss to coat. Saute for about 1 minute, and sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the apple wedges. Saute, tossing often, until the apples are brown and translucent. Carefully add brandy (it may ignite), and toss again.
Transfer microwaved apples to a baking sheet, and stuff with the sauteed apples. Set aside in a warm place.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with Ateco No. 5 star or any other large star tip with meringue, and pipe out meringue onto each apple in decorative swirls. Place in oven, and bake until meringue just starts to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve warm with caramel sauce.
You will get the best results if you use one of the apples listed here. Microwaving cooks the shells quickly and preserves their color.