Bake a sweet taste of fall with this apple crisp
This dessert is ideal for colder weather and wonderful served with ice cream — my daughters actually like to eat it for breakfast with a mug of hot apple cider. Go figure.
Anyway, I’d suggest you start by picking up the best cooking apples you can find from your local farmer’s market. This dessert concept will also work with other firm fruit. If you want to use berries, you will only need to bake them with the crisp topping (and not alone, as they are already so soft). I also included a tip for adding a little kick to the apples, which is below. Fall Apple Crisp à la Mode Makes 4 small dessert servings (double if you love dessert and want
leftovers) For the apples: 5 to 6 big cooking apples (I love Empire apples, though Granny Smiths are quite nice too); cored and chopped into bite size pieces 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon For the crisp topping: 1 cup almond flour (purchased in most grocery stores) 1 teaspoon cinnamon pinch of nutmeg (or just use apple or pumpkin pie seasoning)
zest from one big lemon (I like to further chop mine up with a chef’s knife) 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup brown sugar optional 1/4 cup white sugar (if you like your desserts super sweet) 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter (you could add an additional 4 tablespoons, see note in cooking instructions) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chopped apples on a sheet pan and drizzle them with butter and cinnamon. Mix as best you can on the tray. Place them in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. When a knife passes through them easily, they are done. It’s important not to overcook the apples now, because they will be baked again.
While the apples are cooking, prepare the crisp topping by combining the almond flour, cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, lemon zest, flour, brown sugar and optional white sugar into a medium bowl and toss until everything is well-combined. Now add in the vanilla and melted butter (if you want to use olive oil or another type of butter substitute, feel free!) and with a fork, mix again until the butter is distributed. The mixture will be moist but not overly so. The theory is that the more butter you use, the more this topping will crisp up when you bake it. So technically you could double the butter if you wanted to.
When the apples are done cooking, place them in a pie pan and cover them with the crisp topping mixture. Place the pan in the oven to bake for another 20 minutes or until the crisp topping is crisp’ed to your liking. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream. Grown-up note: If you want to add a little kick to the apples, when they come out of the oven for the second time, drizzle them with a tiny bit of Calvados or an apple liqueur. Don’t overdo it — moderation is tastiest.
Cooking at Home is a weekly column that alternates between Rebecca Bent and Chad Stringfellow. They dish on what they’ve been making.
This week, Rebecca brings us the how-to for a perfect fall treat.