Cooking, Food

It’s not a Beauty Contest

Sometimes it’s all about that taste, not the looks. When it comes to this recipe, that’s a good thing, because this is all creams and browns and monotone. Not that it matters when you put a bite in your mouth. Then, it sings. Tart notes, rich, sweet, the ineffable umami…

Apple Crisp

I bought a bag of apples at our grocery, and while usually their produce is very good, these apples were beyond overripe. I tossed two that weren’t going to be good eats, and got down to peeling and slicing. I used about 5 apples for this recipe, keeping it small. I preheated the oven to 375 deg F, and got out a glass casserole dish, about 8″diameter. You could use a pie plate, or a larger dish if you’re making enough for a family.

Baking apples
These apples were past being eating out-of-hand goodies. But they baked up nicely.
Apple Filling
  • 4-5 apples, peeled, sliced, and cored
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour

Taste a bit of the apple to determine how sweet they are, keeping in mind that the baking process will release more sugars, and adjust your sugar accordingly. Because the topping is quite sweet, you won’t need much in with the apples themselves. Toss the apple slices with the other ingredients until well coated. Place in the baking dish.

Apple Crisp recipe
Flour, sugar, butter, and apples.
Struesel Topping
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp butter, chilled

Cut the butter into the flour and sugar with cinnamon until it is in pieces smaller than a pea. Sprinkle the topping over the apple slices evenly.

Struesel topping doesn’t look like much. But you can make it in large batches and freeze it for handy use later.

Put in the oven at 375 deg F and bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if the filling is bubbling and the top has browned. A glass dish is nice here, as you can see the caramelization happening. If necessary, cook another 10 minutes (you will need the longer time for larger amounts). Remove from oven and set to cool. Note: filling is very hot at this point, more like LAVA FLAMING than mmm delicious apply goodness. Let it cool, for goodness sakes!

Apple Crisp
Caramelization and Lava bubbles… well, ok, hot sugar syrup. Same thing, really.

Serve while still warm. It is excellent in a bowl with a bit of whipped cream or just cream on it. Ice cream is good also. For those of us who are limited in their dairy consumption, I can assure you that vanilla frozen yogurt pairs beautifully with this dish.

This serves two. Three, if you are feeling altruistic and have a friend over. It won’t serve four unless you are willing to risk hard feelings.

Apple Crisp
It still doesn’t look like much, but when you spoon it out the slightly crispy topping combines with the tart apples and caramel syrup and mmmmmmmmmmm!

4 thoughts on “It’s not a Beauty Contest

  1. Very close to my grandmother’s recipe.
    I like to use two different kinds of apples, usually Golden Delicious and Granny Smith.
    I also put the cinnamon in the filling rather than the topping.
    And if you put all this in a pie shell rather than a baking dish you wind up with Dutch Apple Pie.
    If you do that, start at 425 for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 for another 45.
    If you manage to have any left over it ain’t half bad cold either, but usually my problem is waiting for it to cool long enough to keep from burning my mouth.

    1. I use Granny Smith for baking if I plan – this was improvising to use apples that weren’t good for eating raw any longer – they are too tart for me to eat them raw but I like the texture and tartness they add.

      Yes, and I do put it in a pie shell from time to time, my grandmother called it Pennsylvania Dutch style 🙂

      And that waiting problem is why I put in all the warnings! This is Sanford’s favorite thing for me to make.

  2. I’m out of apples, darn it, because this definitely gave me cravings for apple crisp.

    The recipe looks close to what I’m used to except that mom always did the topping with rolled oats. I’d probably use “quick” oats.

    If I was feeling rebellious I’d throw a handful of Cranraisins in the apples.

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