This time of year I could bake apple desserts everyday, this is not even an understatement. The funny thing is that I am not a huge apple eater generally. Occasionally I’ll grab one for a snack, or slice up with peanut butter on the side, but really we’re looking a few times a year tops. When it comes to apple desserts however, and the turn of summer to fall I can go all out.
I’ve been reading Molly Wizenberg’s Orangette food blog since about the very begging of food blogs. If you haven’t visited her site please do, she is a wonderful writer, and her blog is full of both beautiful photos, and amazing recipes. She wrote a few years ago about this apple crisp recipe, from Nigel Slater, that I have been wanting to make ever since originally seeing it. Other apple cakes and pies always seemed to get in the way, and I’m glad that I finally gave this one a chance. My co-workers also loved it.
My favorite part of this recipe, which is the first time I have tried this technique, is that you cook the apples, butter, and sugar together for a few minutes to caramelize before baking. I think by doing this it really deepens the overall flavor. Also a note on apples. I like using Granny Smith apples, they don’t break down as much as others when you bake them, and I think the tart flavor complements the sweet, but feel free to use whatever you like best.
For the filling
- 4 granny smith apples
- 1/3 cup sugar. I had turbinado sugar on hand.
- 2 tbs. unsalted butter
For the topping
- 7 tbs. cold unsalted butter cut into pea sized cubes
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbs Turbinado sugar
- 1-2 tbs. ice cold water
Peel and core the apples and cut them into 1/2 inch thick slices. Heat up a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat and add the butter until it melts and starts to foam. Add the apples and sugar and stir well to coat the apples. Let the apples cook for about 5 minutes or until the juices thicken into a golden syrup. Place cooked apples and juices into a pie dish.
To make the topping dice the butter into pea sized cubes and put into a medium sized bowl. Use your fingers to incorporate together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Drizzle with the ice water and incorporate together until lumps form. Evenly distribute crumb topping over apples and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and the dessert bubbles on the sides of the dish.