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Classic Apple Crisp

classic apple crisp
classic apple crisp
classic apple crisp

With all the apple recipes out there, it's amazing how difficult it is to find a good, basic apple crisp. You know, one of those recipes you're desperately seeking (along with applesauce) when you've just gone to the orchard with the kids, and they enthusiastically filled two very large bags with apples. 

While this version of apple crisp may seem daunting, with a fairly long list of ingredients, many are simply optional enhancements. Basically, you're looking at apples, sugar, thickener, and a touch of spice in the filling; and flour, sugar, butter, oats, and cinnamon in the topping.

Ingredients: 
FILLING:
3 pounds whole apples, to yield 2 pounds peeled, cored, and sliced apples; about 9 cups
1/4 cup rum, apple cider or juice, or the liquor/juice of your choice; or water
1/4 to 3/4 cup brown sugar, depending on the sweetness/tartness of your apples
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons boiled cider, optional but good
1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice; or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour or tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
......................................................................................
TOPPING:
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut in pats
1/2 cup diced pecans or walnuts, optional
......................................................................................
Directions: 

Yield: 9-12 servings

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 9" square cake pan, or similar-size casserole pan.
  2. Slice the apples about 1/4" thick. Toss them with the remaining filling ingredients, and spread them in the pan.
  3. To make the topping, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  4. Add the cold butter, working it in to make an unevenly crumbly mixture. Stir in the nuts, if you're using them.
  5. Spread the topping over the apples in the pan.
  6. Set the pan on a parchment- or foil-lined cookie sheet, to catch any potential drips. Bake the crisp for about 60 minutes, till it's bubbling and the top is golden brown.
  7. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. If you serve the crisp hot/warm, it may be quite soft. If you wait till it's completely cool, it'll firm up nicely. A good compromise is to wait for it to cool completely, then reheat individual portions briefly in the microwave. Vanilla ice cream is a tasty accompaniment.

 

Cooking Tips

  • To make individual crisps, grease eight 8-ounce capacity baking dishes, and proceed with the recipe accordingly, baking the smaller crisps for 45 to 55 minutes.
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