Wash and core the apples, removing at least a 1" center in each apple. Set the apples on a plate. Stir together the dried fruit, pecans, brown sugar, salt and cardamom or cinnamon. Fill each apple with this mixture, packing it firmly into each apple.
CROCK-POT DIRECTIONS: Place the filled apples in the bottom of the crock-pot. If you have a smaller crock-pot, you can raise a couple of the apples by sitting them on top of wadded up balls of foil in between the other two apples. (This is how I cooked ours this time.) Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter. Cover with lid and cook for about 2 hours on high, until the apples are fork tender. If you would like to cook on low, this should take 4-5 hours.
OVEN DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the filled apples in a muffin tray. Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter. Bake until fork tender, about 20 minutes.