Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and dry apples.
In a small mixing bowl stir together brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Cut stem from apple and scoop core from apple using a teaspoon, while creating a space about 1-inch wide and being careful not to cut through bottom of apple or the filling will leak.
Place apples in a medium baking dish. Divide sugar mixture among apples pressing to fit. Drop about 4 drops of vanilla over filling of each apple then top with 1/2 Tbsp of butter.
Pour apple juice into bottom of baking. Bake (uncovered) in preheated oven until apples are tender, about 35 - 45 minutes.
Serve warm. If desired cut apples in half or slice and optionally serve with vanilla or salted caramel ice cream.
*Good choices of apples are honeycrisp, gala, fuji, rome, golden delicious, jonagold, jonathan, braeburn, pink lady or cortland.