Friday, September 24, 2010

Apple Crisp

'Tis the season... to pick your own apples! If you are lucky enough to live near a fruit orchard, you know that local fruit that is in season tastes ten-times better than anything you can buy in a grocery market. It's not had long storage times in containers and in temperatures that nature didn't intend... and it hasn't had to journey from far distances or even from another country. And if you're really lucky, you'll find an orchard that has earth-friendly or organic growing practices. Although our orchard is not organic, they do try to spray minimally - mostly when the trees and bushes are in flower and before the fruit appears.

When choosing an apple to make crisps, pies, crumbles, or sweet breads and muffins, try to find a firm fleshed variety that is not initially sweet. Granny Smiths, Empires, Golden Delicious, Jonagolds, Honeycrisps, Cortland, and Braeburns are just a few that hold up well to baking. Today I'm using a mix of Honeycrisp and a variety called Pinata.

Honestly, I've always felt that many of the crisp recipes I've been given and tried have fallen flat. Either the crisp topping never "crisps" or the dish is all-over laking flavor, spice, or is overly sweet. I don't want to feel like I have to put ice-cream on my fruit crisps to make them edible (not a bad addition, but I don't want it to be the highlight of the dish!) I've combined a recipe that my mother had given me a long time ago and also taking some tips that has written on apple crisps. I think this recipe is a wonderful combination of flavor, a good balance of fruit and crispy topping, and can stand alone... with or without ice cream!

Apple Crisp
This recipe makes enough for a 9X13" pan, but is easy to cut in half in you want to use an 8X8.

  • 10 Cups of baking apples. Peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4" thin sections.
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Cup white sugar
  • 1 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 TBSP apple cider (or water)

  • 2 Cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temp

  1. Peel, core, slice and cut your apples and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Mix the white sugar, 1 TBSP flour, cinnamon and nutmeg together well. Sprinkle the mixture over the apple slices and toss to coat.
  4. Coat your baking dish with spray, pour and spread out the apples evenly. Sprinkle the 3 TBSP of apple cider over the top.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the oats, 2 cups flour, chopped pecans (opt), brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk together to mix. Cut in the room temperature butter with a pastry cutter or two forks until the topping appearing crumbly. Sprinkle it evenly over the top of the apples.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
This is best served warm. When serving, spoon the great juice in the bottom of the pan over the top of the crisp topping - it has great flavor you don't want to miss out on! Great with ice cream, whipped cream, a little milk, or... just by itself!

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