How to make a great apple crisp

Here is one of our favorite dessert treats. And once the ‘dessert’ part of it is over, the rest is fair game. We usually just keep a fork handy for people (me and sonny-jim) to snag bites from it each time we walk by.

To build a proper good apple crisp, you would think you would start with the apples. But there is where you would be wrong. First you start with a cool pan.

like this one.
like this one. (sorry, no mood lighting or light filters, just my kitchen, me and a camera phone.)

You see, with an apple crisp (or pear or peach or plum…) there are no round crusts, thus no inhibition on creative pan-age. So feel free to find something heat-resistant and cute to bake your crisp in. It could be round, or rectangle, or triangle, or flower shaped. This is ‘the’ apple crisp pan of course, for us. I only hope I can keep it a few more years without breaking off the leaf. I really like this pan.

Now you can start thinking about the apples. Try to have more than one kind. I remember when I was a kid, green apples meant Pippin apples. Or unripe ones. Both were sour as the dickens. Now it means Granny Smith usually and you hardly ever see Pippins.

IMG_2134 (1024x765)

I used as assortment of Granny Smith and maybe Galas? Or are those Fuji? Or Pink Lady? Any of those will do. Just two or three types of apples.

Here is my apprentice using the apple corer/peeler/slicer to (supposedly) make it all easier.
Here is my apprentice using the apple corer/peeler/slicer to (supposedly) make it all easier.

You want to peel the apples, core the apples and slice the apples. If you can do this in one handy motion, more power to you. This little gadget gives you long strands of apple peelings and cores to give the chickens.

Or to be slurped up by apprentice baker like spaghetti.
Or to be slurped up by the talented apprentice,  like spaghetti.
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Toss toss toss with the sugar, lemon, cinnamon and some flour. If you want this is when you would add things like apple syrup or cherry juice or Tuaca which is an Italian liquor I use as a ‘secret ingredient’ except today I am out.

You put the sliced apples in a bowl so you can add some cinnamon and sugar, flour (or tapioca) and lemon.Also preheat the oven right about now. 350 degrees.

Which you then pour into your designated pan.
Which you then pour into your designated pan.
Now it is ready for the next stage, the topping.
Now it is ready for the next stage, the topping.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, old fashioned oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, pulsing together. Then you add the cold butter. Cut it into a few chunks and add to the bowl, pulse, pulse, pulse. Okay, pour it over the apples.

Add chopped pecans for that little extra crunch something.
Add chopped pecans for that little extra crunch something.

Now it is ready for the oven. Besides the cool pan, here is where you differ from just any old apple crisp. You want to not just bake it until tender, like most recipes say.You want to bake until syrupy and caramelized. I’d say between 1 1/2 and 2 hours. It will brown and sink a bit and get gooey and …its indescribable.

I keep forgetting to get pictures of things when they are done. So here it is a bit after we attacked it.
I keep forgetting to get pictures of things when they are done. So here it is a bit after we attacked it. This one did not get the full 2 hours I would have liked. I ran out of time. But it is still wonderful!
Some possible additions for an extra burst of flavor.
Some possible additions for an extra burst of flavor.
Where is the scoop of ice cream please??
Where is the scoop of ice cream please??
Here is a kind of freakish apple/corer failure.
Here is a kind of freakish apple/corer failure.

Although you can adapt any crisp recipe recipe, I will give you one here as well.

Apple Crisp

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Here is your basic wonderful apple crisp.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel, core and slice the apples. Put into a large bowl and add the sugar, flour or cornstarch, spice and lemon juice. Toss together.
  3. Into the bowl of your food processor, put the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse a couple of times to mix.
  4. Take the stick of butter and cut into pieces. Put in the bowl of the processor and pulse several times until sandy looking. Add the pecans now or top with them later.
  5. Put the apples into your baking pan. Top with the crumbly topping you just made in the food processor. Put into the oven. Add the chopped nuts if you haven’t yet.
  6. Bake 1 1/2-2 hours, until brown and syrupy looking.
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