Saturday, September 29, 2012

Apple Crumble or Crisp or Whatever...

We're now into apple season and that means it's time for apple desserts. This one is simply sliced apples with a pastry topping. The distinction between a crisp and crumble isn't clear. Crumbles usually have a pastry topping and crisps have a topping that contains oats. Though, they are really used interchangeably. But, who really cares? They all taste good. This one in particular.

For help on selecting a good apple for your crumble, see our article on apple varieties. We used Honeycrisp in the picture above and they had the perfect combination of tart-sweet as well as an excellent cooked texture.

Here's a tip for slicing apples: cut the sides off the core, as in the photo below. Then slice the chunks. It's a lot easier to slice things if you have a flat side to place on the cutting board. Round things, like apples, roll around, making it much tougher to slice them.

Apple Crumble
 (serves 6-8, cost $3.50)

butter or cooking spray for greasing the pan
6 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick slices
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon white sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
4 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat the oven to 400 F°. Grease an 8"x8" baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

Layer the apple slices in the baking dish. Combine flour, dark brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add the butter cubes and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. If you don't have a pastry blender, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers

This topping hasn't been mixed quite enough. Still have big chunks of butter.

Not mixed quite enough
 This is just about right - no big chunks of butter and a fairly uniform consistency.

Just right!
Sprinkle the pastry evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes until apples are tender and topping is browned. Good just as is but even better if served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Make sure to spoon it out so the apples and the topping mix together. That way you get a bit of apples and a bit of topping in each and every bite.

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