Monday, September 28, 2009

Falling in love with Fall: A Recipe for Apple Crisp

As you may have seen in my previous post, I'm already madly in love with fall. But I fall in love with it even more as I begin to cook my fall "go-to" recipes.

Here is one that I adore, that is easy, delicious and impossible to mess up.

Apple Crisp

Team Apple Crisp features the stellar stylings of apples (duh!), Craisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, kosher salt, butter, water or cider, flour, and oatmeal.

Start with 1 1/2- 2 cups Craisins (we love 'em so I use 2 cups) and cover with 1/4 cup of water. This time I used apple cider since I had some on hand. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and bring to a low simmer, rehydrating the dried cranberries. Then set aside to cool.

For the "Crisp" part, combine flour, oats, the rest of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.

PS I use freshly ground nutmeg exclusively. Martha Stewart told me to. It tastes so much more fresh.  And I feel very "chef-y" when I use my Microplaner to zest it up. Try it. You'll see!

Chop the cold butter and toss it in the mix. Using two knives or your pastry cutter, cut butter in until the mixture is crumbly.

Place half of the mixture into your 9x13 baking dish that you've already sprayed with cooking spray. Press it down. Then lick your fingers. Then wash your hands.

Oops. Forgot to tell you. The oven is supposed to be preheated to 350.

Combine the apple slices with the cooled Craisins. Add lemon juice if desired. I forgot this time. You can also see that I can't be bothered with peeling the apples. I don't mind them in here, but if you do, by all means, peel away. I'm too lazy.

Cover the crumbs with the apple mixture. Isn't it pretty?

Then top with the remaining crumb mixture and press down gently. Repeat the finger licking-hand washing if desired.

Toss in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the apples or tender.

PPS I made a half recipe this time as I am highly tempted to eat the whole thing myself and just can't justify that.

This recipe is great made the day before and reheated, too, for company. Try it! Tell them you slaved all day, then laugh to yourself at how easy it was!

Apple Crisp by Mostly Mom
2 Cups Craisins
1/4 cup water or apple cider
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, less if using table salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cups) butter
2 quarts cored and sliced apples of your favorite variety
additional butter and lemon juice, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9 x 13" baking dish, spraying with cooking spray.
2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine Craisins and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, along with the apple cider or water. Bring to a low simmer to rehydrate the dried cranberries. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, nutmeg, salt, remaining cinnamon and brown sugar. Cut butter into mixture until crumbly.
4. Divide mixture in two; press first half into baking pan with firm pressure to create a crust.
5. Combine apple slices with Craisin mixture and a teaspoon or so of lemon juice (optional). Pour over the top of pressed crumb crust.
6. Top the apples with remaining crumb mixture. Press down gently. I sometimes put a few dots of butter on the top.
7. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until apples are tender. Can be made in advance and reheated in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

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