Saturday, October 29, 2011

Warm Apple Crisp

Goodness gracious, y'all.  I've been cookin' up a storm today in preparation for the game against Tennessee.  We've got cookies, fancy peanuts, feta cheese squares, pumpkin dip, and more to come.  Last night I made this fancy goat cheese spread and ate it while I watched Bridesmaids.  Um, can we talk about that movie for a sec?  I laughed.  I almost cried (what?!).  I wholly admire Kristen Wiig for committing to a role.  Because the scene where she goes berserk at the bridal shower and tackles the giant cookie, rolling around on the ground with it...I have no words.  And kudos to Melissa McCarthy for being a total scene stealer.  I know I'm like a year behind in finally watching this movie.  And Kristen Wiig's character is a baker in the movie.  So ta-da.

Speaking of baking, you have to make this apple crisp.  Martha Stewart never fails me.  I make her food, and it turns out how it's supposed to.  Buh-bam.  This crisp so simple to put together.  Some butter, oats, spices, and apples come together to make a warm bowl of happiness.  Apples are kind of my favorite fruit too.  Especially honeycrisps.  

How do you not want to shovel that in your mouth?!  It's bubbly and a little gooey and full of cinnamon warmth.  
I used a combination of honeycrisp and gala apples.  You need lemons too to add a little punch of acid and to keep the apples from oxidizing.  
You also need: all-purpose flour, old fashioned oats, sugar, butter, light brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.  The cardamom is kind of optional, but I like the slight perfume it gives to the filling.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, 2 tbs of sugar, and salt.
Cube the butter and add it to the flour.
Cut the butter into the flour with a pasty blender or two knives until it looks like a coarse meal.
Mix the oats in by hand, forming large clumps.  Stick the bowl in the freezer to chill while you prepare the apples.
Peel and core the apples, then cut them into 1/2" pieces.  Toss with lemon juice.  Add the cinnamon, sugar, and cardamom and toss them together.
Lightly grease a shallow 2-qt bowl and add the apples.  Break the oat topping over the apples until it's completely covered and all the topping is used.  I sprinkled a little extra cinnamon over the whole thing because it's my fave.  Bake it in a 375º oven for 50-60 minutes, until bubbling and golden on top.
Boom.  Soul soothing apple crisp.  It absolutely begs for vanilla ice cream or fluffy vanilla whipped cream.
If you want to be super decadent with your whipped cream, use a little vanilla bean paste.  You can find it at nicer grocery stores or Williams-Sonoma.  Vanilla extract will work just fine, but I think the vanilla paste adds a bigger punch of vanilla.  It really takes the apple crisp to another level.  This crisp comes together really easily, so it's not out of reach on a weekday.  Wouldn't you like to come home to this?

Warm Apple Crisp (serves 8)
Adapted from Martha Stewart

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c + 2 tbs sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 c old-fashioned oats
3 lbs apples, cored, peeled, and cut into 1/2" chunks (Gala, Honeycrisps, Braeburn, and Empire are good        choices)
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp cardamom
  • Preheat oven to 375º.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, salt, and two tablespoons of the sugar.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.  Add the oats and mix in with your hand, squeezing to form large clumps.  Chill in the freezer while you prepare the apples.
  • Toss the apples and lemon juice together.  Add the rest of the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom and toss to coat.  Pour the apples into a lightly greased shallow 2-qt baking dish.  Sprinkle the oat mixture over the apples until completely covered, using all the oat mix.  Sprinkle a little extra cinnamon over the top.  Bake 50-60 minutes, until bubbling and golden on top.
  • Serve warm with vanilla whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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