For some reason, I have always been intimidated by the thought of making apple crisp. I’m not sure if that’s really dumb, or sort of understandable. Think about it: you have this dessert which so many people have been eating for many years, and which represents American food culture in its most recognizable form. Everyone has some recipe for it, and you can google and find a whole bunch more on the internet. Which ones are reliable? Which won’t totally flop? Will I be able to feed this to people?
I guess those are questions you ask any time you make anything that’s out of your repertoire. And they’re the questions that prompt you to experiment.
In the end, the apple crisp turned out better than I would’ve hoped. The version I made had a little too much lemon, so I think I’d try and tone it down a bit next time. Otherwise, it was a hit. The apple mixture was gooey and caramelized and the apple pieces were perfectly tender. The topping was crispy, sweet and buttery, remaining sturdy above the looser apple filling. The recipe, adapted by The Parsley Thief, is one of Ina Garten’s. It’s a keeper, and it’s easy to make, too.
It goes without saying that apple crisp (or pie, cobbler, crumble, etc.) tastes even better when accompanied by a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. (It seems almost wrong to eat the crisp without it!) Apple crisp is a perfect dessert for winter and can be warmed up easily in the microwave or oven, although it’d be perfectly fine at room temperature, too.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
For the filling:
8 large apples, peeled & cored
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
For the topping:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup oatmeal
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice the apples into bite sized pieces that you’d be comfortable eating. Place the apples in a large bowl and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine and transfer the apple mixture into a baking dish that’ll be able to hold all of the apples. A 9x9 would work fine (just make sure there’s room on top for the topping.)
In another large bowl (you can use a stand mixer here if you have one) combine the flour, both sugars, salt, oatmeal & butter. Mix these ingredients until the butter has broken down. This will take 2 minutes with a stand mixer and more like 8 minutes if you’re using muscle.
Take the mixture and evenly distribute it onto the top of the apple mixture in the baking dish. Place this dish onto a larger sheet pan that’s lined with parchment paper, and bake for an hour. The topping should be brown at this point and the apple mixture should be caramelized and bubbling.
Serve warm or at room temperature with that aforementioned scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or you could whip some heavy cream and make whipped cream if you’d like that better.