For the baked apples: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the inside of the hollowed out apples with the soft butter, and then coat with the sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before filling with the fruit stew.
For the fruit stew: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the fresh cranberries, sun-dried cranberries, apples, pears, peaches, plums, brown sugar and vanilla bean. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the cranberry juice and cook over a simmer until the fruit is soft but not overcooked, 15 to 20 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the banana. Fill each of the apple cups with the fruit stew and top with the almond granola. Bake for 10 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Lynn Crawford, 2009