Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Carefully core the apples by cutting around the top stem and removing all but the bottom ½-inch of the core (if you remove the entire core, the filling will fall out).
Remove the top one-third of the skin by scoring a line around the entire apple, then peeling away the skin. Rub the exposed flesh with the lemon to prevent it from browning. Repeat the process with the second apple.
Place the prepared apples in individual baking dishes or in one larger baking dish (if using individual dishes, place them on a sheet tray for easier handling). Combine the dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, dark brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then fill each cored apple by packing it firmly with half of the mixture. Top each apple with a pat of butter.
Whisk together the apricot preserves and water in a small saucepan over low heat, just until the preserves melt.
Pour half of the preserves over each apple then transfer them to the oven.
Bake the apples for 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve the baked apples warm and paired with vanilla bean ice cream.
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