Warm Apple Crisp

October 13, 2014

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Friends, I haven’t been apple picking this year.  You know, how much I love to go and pick the apples, go overboard, complain about it, and then make delicious things from these apples and look forward to doing it all the next year.  You know this!  And yet, this year, there are no over-ambitious 12 lbs. of apples in sight.  Nope.  There are only grocery store apples that I keep around to remind me that it’s fall.  Because I haven’t been apple picking this year.

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And here’s a little secret I haven’t told you yet: I don’t even like apples!  Raw, that is.  I don’t like raw apples.  They make no sense to me.  You never know when one is ripe!  Will it be sweet, will it be sour, will it be grainy?  These are all questions that run through your mind as you anxiously pick one up and hope for the best.

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I’m helping you avoid all of these things with this apple crisp.  It’s apples at their best – cooked!  And oh, man, the topping.  The crispy, sweet, topping that I love most in any crisps.  Unlike every other crisp that uses a separate thickener to make sure the fruit juices don’t run free, this recipe uses the actual topping mixed in with the fruit.  Which means, that underneath the oaty, brown sugary, nutty crackly topping, are the same flavors mixed with the slight tang of the apples.  They all meld into this almost honey and jam-like bottom that is only complete with a cool ice cream, melting on top.

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Now, seriously – are you still going to eat that apple raw?!

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Warm Apple Crisp (recipe slightly adapted from Joy the Baker)

For Filling:
5 to 6 medium-size apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices (About 7.5 cups)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1.5 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp. sugar

For Topping:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, well-softened
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1/3 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease an 8×8 baking pan with butter.

In the baking pan, toss the apple mixture with lemon juice, and then with the cinnamon and sugar until evenly coated. The apples should be just about to the top of the pan.

For the topping, place the flour, brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and oats in a large bowl and stir well.  Mash in the butter into the flour mixture until evenly distributed.

Take one full handful of the topping and toss it into the apple mixture, and mix well.  Spread the rest of the topping evenly over the apples.

Bake the crisp until the topping is crunchy and the apples are bubbling, 55-60 minutes.

Serve hot – serve with with vanilla ice cream.

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