I do a lot of apple recipes. There are a couple of reasons for that: one, they are my First Reader’s favorite fruit (except maybe blackberries) and two, they are relatively cheap, easy to find, and non-perishable. I can buy a bag of apples and if I can’t do anything with them for a week, they are fine. We like them for eating, although I usually buy Granny Smith for baking and I don’t care for them as eating apples, too tart for me. But baking with them is wonderful, they are tart, hold their shape, and have a wonderful flavor. I sometimes miss having access to an apple orchard, and the annual cider, applesauce, and apple butter making.
I’ve done an Apple Crisp recipe before on the blog, but we were recently discussing what the differences are between a Crisp, a Crumble, a Cobbler, and a Dump Cake (not to mention my Dad’s favorite, a Grunt). I had, until we looked it up, forgotten that a Brown Betty was also an option. So what’s the difference? A Dump Cake, of the above, is least likely to be made with fresh fruit, it’s normally made with canned. But all of them can be made with canned or fresh fruit.
|Crisp (or Struesel)||Struesel||Canned or fresh fruit|
|Crumble||Struesel with oats||Canned or fresh fruit|
|Brown Betty||Streusel||Canned or fresh fruit||Struesel|
|Pennsylvania Dutch Pie||Streusel||Fruit or Mince||Pie Crust|
|Cobbler||Biscuit Dough||Fresh or Canned Fruit|
|Grunt||Shortcake dough||Fresh or canned fruit|
|Dump Cake||Cake mix||Canned fruit|
|Slump or Buckle||Streusel||Fruit||Cake|
So many similarities, and yet the variations could be near infinite. Like Pancakes.
One thing they do all have in common is the ease of preparation. I made up a huge batch of streusel as I was prepping the Apple Brown Betty, and after I was done, froze the rest of it, so the next time I want streusel all I have to do is scoop some out. I don’t know how long it will last in the freezer, I’ve never been able to test that before it was all used up.
Streusel to Freeze
- 1 1/2 c butter (very cold. Can even be frozen)
- 1 1/2 c dark brown sugar
- 2 c flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon (add more if your family likes it)
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (add more if you want)
In a food processor with the blade on, combine the sugar, flour, and spices. Pulse a few times, then start adding the butter, cut into 1/2″ thick patties. Put in three or four, pulse a few times, and then add another few. Repeat this until all the butter is in. Don’t over-blend. You want chunks of butter, and they don’t need to be uniform. Place into a ziploc bag and put in the freezer. You don’t need to thaw before using.
- 4-5 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- handful of brown sugar (about 1/3 cup, use less for sweet or very ripe apples)
- Handful of flour (between 1/3 to 1/2 cup, depending on how juicy the apples)
- A few pats of butter
- 1 1/2 c struesel, divided in two.
If you serve this while still warm, the bottom crust comes out beautifully and it is crispy, almost candied. This was so good, even better than my usual crisp recipe. Preheating the dutch oven made all the difference. It’s incredibly easy to do, and it might not look elegant, but it tastes divine.