⅔cup (160 g)cinnamon candies (Red Hots)(make sure they are gluten free--Red Hots are gluten free, as are Brach's brand)
1cup (240 ml)water
4medium to largeapples, peeled and cored (Rome apples are preferred, but Jonathan, Jonagold, Ginger Gold, or Golden Delicious will also work)
4tbsp (50 g)brown sugar
2tbspbutter, cold and cut into 4 pieces
egg wash (one egg whisked with one tbsp water and a pinch of salt)
FOR THE SAUCE:
In a small saucepan over medium-high, add the cinnamon candies, water, and butter.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently. Allow candies to melt and syrup to thicken slightly. It will be bright red. Remove from the heat and let cool while making the pastry and preparing the apples.
FOR THE PASTRY:
Roll out half the pie crust at a time into a large rectangle, 8 by 16 inches. Cut in half into 8-inch squares. Place the first 2 squares on a baking sheet and chill while rolling out the other 2 squares. You can also re-roll the scraps and cut out leaves for the top.
FOR THE APPLES:
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Place an apple in the middle of a pastry square. Stuff the core with roughly one tbsp of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture and top with a piece of butter. Fold the pastry corners up and over the apple, opposite sides first, and then press and fold the edges of dough around the apple (if desired).
Place the apples in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Brush them with the egg wash. Pour the sauce in the pan around the apples.
Bake at 400° F for 15 minutes. Turn down the temp to 350° F and continue to bake for 30 minutes more, or until golden brown and a dull knife inserted into the center gives without resistance.
Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream and the sauce.
The recipe can be doubled.The baked apples will keep, covered, at room temperature for a few days.