Oct 13, 2009

apple crisp

i had a great weekend. i hope you enjoyed yourselves as well. it was r's birthday. we went out with friends. we stayed in. we hung out with the kids and enjoyed each other's company. we got important chores done. we relaxed. we watched movies. we ate well. we had three days. we rested up.

we even had time to bake a dessert. it was not our traditional birthday faire, chocolate cake with ganache frosting. but it was the simpler more rustic apple crisp. one of those desserts invented for when you have a bunch of apples lying around that aren't getting any younger. 20 minutes to put together and an hour to bake. of course this one is full of oats. apples and oats are a natural combination, ask any horse. but you won't find any cinnamon in here, i don't like it with apples. i like the clean taste of apples, as in tart tatin which relies on the butter and sugar caramelizing together to enhance the apple flavor. but, of course, cinnamon or nutmeg could be added here with good result.

i love apple season. having grown up in the eastern middle west. apples were my favorite food, local orchards were plentiful, fresh cider was delicious. back then i preferred jonathan apples. now i like empires best of all the local apples. nice crisp crunch, tart sweet balance. macintosh and macouns can be good too. read up on your favorite apple varieties here.

note: plums, peaches and rhubarb also make great crisps.

apple crisp
preheat oven to 375 F

2 lbs of apples give or take i used 7 medium to large apples, about 4 cups, peeled and sliced
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP sugar

place sliced apples in a medium bowl. add lemon and sugar and stir.
meanwhile make the topping:

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup chilled, sliced)
1 cup of oats
1 cup flour (mix of oat floar, all purpose and whole wheat pastry flour is what i generally use)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans or pistachios might be nice (optional)

combine with your hands until well mixed and sticks together appropriately. a ceramic dish works well as it won't react with the acidic apple mixture. often a gratin pan is used. place apple mixture in pan. cover with crisp mixture. bake in 375 F oven for 1 hour. top should be lightly browned and crisped. apples should be well cooked.

easy peasy. after making lots of tarts lately it is nice to take a break from rolling out pastry. a little more nutritious than pies or tarts with the addition of the oats/nuts, and a more beneficial butter to apple ratio. every little bit helps right?

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