Saturday, September 17, 2011

Apple Crisp

It was a beautiful, brisk, almost-fall day today! The kind of day where you need a light sweater and the air smells like burning wood! It was THE perfect day to go pick apples- so, that’s what we did! And what a bounty of delicious Empire apples we picked! It was all of our first time to pick an apple straight off the tree and eat it right there on the spot! The kids loved it and so did I! Now I have a large box of apples sitting in my, of course, I absolutely had to bake something with them! I love apple pie, but, I wasn’t in the mood to make a crust, I decided on a simple crisp.

This recipe comes from my most beloved cookbook- Baker’s Illustrated. The apple crisp was warm and sweet. I served it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream...the perfect end to our lovely day!

6 Tbl all purpose flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbl cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 c. coarsely chopped nuts, such as almond, pecans or walnuts

6 medium apples, peeled cored and cut into 1 inch chunks (sweet-tart apples work best like Jonagold, Jonathan, Pink Lady, Jazz, Braeburn, Fugi...)
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbl lemon juice
1/4 c. white sugar

Preheat oven to 375F.

For the topping:
Place flour, sugars, spices and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 times, about 4 seconds for each pulse. The mixture will first look like dry sand, with large lumps of butter, then like coarse cornmeal. Add the nuts, then process again, four or five 1 second pulses. The topping should look like slightly clumpy wet sand. Be sure not over-mix or the mixture will become too wet. Refrigerate the topping while preparing the fruit, at least 15 minutes.

For the filling:
Toss the peeled, cored & 1 inch cubed apples in a bowl with juice, zest and sugar. Scrape the fruit mixture with a spatula into an 8X8” baking pan or a 9” deep dish pie plate.

To assemble & bake:
Distribute the chilled topping evenly over the fruit. Bake for 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400F and continue baking until the fruit is bubbling and the topping turns deep golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! Enjoy!

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