Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash apples with hot, soapy water. Remove cores to ½ inch of the bottom of the apples. It helps if you have an apple corer, but if not, you can use a paring knife to cut out first the stem area, and then the core. Use a spoon to dig out the seeds. Make the holes about ¾-inch to an inch wide. Remove as little flesh as possible.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and pecans. Place apples in a 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Stuff each apple with this mixture. Top each apple with a dot of butter (1/4 of the tablespoon).
Add boiling water to the baking pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until tender, but not mushy. Remove from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.