Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apple Crisp

Autumn finally arrived last week with the October rains. And, to celebrate the change of seasons I decided to make an apple crisp. I have been playing around with the recipe off-and-on for a couple of years but I feel that I have finally gotten it right. 

Some apple varieties are better than others for baking. You want to find ones that will hold their shape and not inadvertently turn into apple sauce. I'm a big fan of Fuji apples for baking. But, for traditionalists, you can always use Granny Smiths. I did have the good fortune of making this latest version with an heirloom variety called Orleans Reinette and it was amazing. If you have access to heirloom apples either through a farmers market or your local grocery store or food co-op, I suggest giving them a try. You might be very pleasantly surprised.

I certainly hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know.

(adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

Prep: Approx. 25-30 minutes
Cook: Approx. 55 minutes
Equipment: 2-quart earthenware or glass baking dish, 2” deep.

¾ cup of all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup of  brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground powdered ginger
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

8 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced (about 6 cups)
Juice of 1 orange
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground powdered ginger
¼ cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375°. Position rack in the lower third of the oven. Have an unbuttered 2-quart baking dish ready.

For the filling, place your apples in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the bowl and toss together. Then spread mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

For the topping, combine all of the ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Then use a pastry blender, 2 knives or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Scatter the topping evenly over the fillling.  Gently tap the topping down on top the filling.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. Approximately 50 to 55 minutes.

When done remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Tips & Suggestions:
  • Serve with either fresh whipped cream or ice cream. I think that ice cream is the best and vanilla is a reliable choice. But, if you can find it or want to make it yourself, this would be delicious with salted caramel ice cream.
  • Make Ahead Tip:  Make the topping and filling ahead of time and store separately in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
  • You can add ½ cup of coarsely chopped and toasted walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans to the topping.
  • Can make individual crisps using oven-safe ramekins or other earthenware dishes. This takes this homey dessert and elevates it to something more sophisticated.

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