Autumn apple crisp

October 17th 2013

Well it’s apple time here in the Pacific Northwest! We went out to Sauvie Island on Tuesday to get some obligatory pumpkins, but what caught my eye were the apples! At a mere $1 a pound they called out to me like the sirens to Odysseus…needless to say I bought some and figured an apple crisp was in order. A simple concoction of apples, oats, sugar, butter and flour, it is a wonderfully less cumbersome alternative to a pie. The aroma it exudes in the baking process is enough to make it worth making, but then you taste it, you know that if Fall had a flavor this would be it. I made mine in my Le Creuset soup pot, it’s a deep, circular, enameled cast iron pan that is a good size for this, you can do this in any pan really and just adjust the amounts of apple and topping, to make the amount in this recipe you need an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 incher.
You will need:
Apple mixture:
6 medium to large size apples, peeled, cored, sliced. Mix up the variety as you like, I used gala and braeburn, stay away from red delicious, because basically they have no flavor profile and suck in general.
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup sugar, I used a less processed cane sugar from Florida, but you can use sugar in the raw, or even granulated.
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. apple pie spice, or use ¼ tsp. ground cloves, and ½ a tsp. ginger.
Goo of a vanilla bean (optional, but highly suggested)
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp. flour, I used “white” whole wheat
1 tbsp. cornstarch.
Use a bit of butter, or cooking spray to grease your pan, add all of the other ingredients, mix well, making sure each piece of apple is well coated. I do this in the pan to avoid more dishes to wash, you can use a separate bowl to mix as well.
Crumb topping:
1 cup oatmeal
½ cup flour
¼ cup slivered almonds
½ cup brown sugar
Pinch salt
6 tbsp. butter of choice
In a medium bowl combine above ingredients, using fingers or a pastry cutter, mix until butter is in “pea sized” chunks. Evenly distribute over apples, and bake 60 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.
The end result is a beautiful way to highlight the nuances of an apple’s peak season. This is a great alternative to a pie at Thanksgiving as well! Enjoy!
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