Sunday, September 16, 2012

Apple Crisp and Cooking Therapy

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I've taken some pictures off and on for the last two weeks, but haven't had the time (or energy) to post anything. Today you get a recipe (Apple Crisp) and then some pictures of things I made but didn't write about. Just because I don't want to waste the pictures. But cooking is good therapy when I'm under too much stress, so I have actually been doing some cooking--which in my case seems to usually mean baking!

About two weeks ago, the first of the new apples started to show up in the grocery store. For the last two weeks it was Galas, which are nice eating apples but not ones I normally cook with. Today, to my surprise, the first Honeycrisp apples showed up! Usually we don't see those for another couple of weeks. Honeycrisp apples are absolutely delicious, but only make a relatively brief appearance in the fall. They are so good eaten fresh that I don't know why anyone would bother to cook them! I plan on reheating some caramel I made a while ago, slicing some up, and dipping away. But today I made a standard in honor of the new apples and the first few really cool days we've had since last, um, let me see, March? So far back I can't remember exactly. The temperature will be headed back up to 90 this coming week, but I'm enjoying the cooler air while I can!

I basically improvised the following recipe--but once you've made apple crisp a few times, so could you. The principle is simple--slice up some apples and combine them with sugar and spices (and maybe some flour or cornstarch to thicken the juices), then top with something crispy crumbly and bake until the apples are soft and the top is browned. There you have it--apple crisp. There are a million recipes out there. I happen to like my crisp with oats in the topping.

Apple Crisp
3ish pounds of good baking apples, peeled and sliced (I use Granny Smith because I like things a little tart)
2 heaping tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt

1/2 cup almond meal (or toasted almonds ground quite fine)
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

   Preheat oven to 425 F. Peel and slice the apples into slices about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick, although it's really up to you and how big you like your apple pieces. Combine with the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Mix well and set aside.
   For topping, measure almond meal, oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; stir until well combined. Add melted butter and mix thoroughly.
   Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan and spread the apple filling. Dot with cold butter, then scatter the topping over the apples. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until apples reach desired doneness and topping has browned. You could also bake for longer at a lower temperature if you prefer--I just happened to have the oven at 425 because I was also baking a loaf of bread.
  Cool slightly, then serve in bowls with vanilla ice cream.

Slicing the apples
Combining apples with sugar, flour and spices
Topping ingredients, ready to mix
In the pan with the butter...
...and the topping.

Out of the oven and ready to eat!
Now, as promised, are some pictures of some other things I've cooked over the last two week. If you want the recipes, let me know and I'll pass them along!
Crepes with Nutella
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
White Sandwich Bread (America's Test Kitchen recipe)
No knead multigrain bread--posted in May
Challah--although Rosh Hashanah starts tonight, and I'm given
to understand that the new year's loaf should be round, not braided.

No comments:

Post a Comment