Friday, September 20, 2013

Apple Crisp because it's Fall!

According to the internet collective, I'm supposed to be going gaga over pumpkin spice. If you actually read my last post instead of looking at the pictures of the M&Ms and then rushing off to Target to purchase your body weight in them I don't really go much gaga over that spice of the pumpkins. It's okay I guess.

But I will travel across broken glass on my kevlared belly to get one taste of fall.


Specifically tart, crisp, just crossed into season apples. My diet quickly turns into nothing but doctor scourges if I have access to honest orchard apples recently plucked off their bowing branches.

Though this also means if I snag a batch of not as ripe as they once were apples I am overly disappointed and plotting apple demise. So crack out the pastry torture devices jammed in your miscellaneous drawer, it's crisp time!


4       medium tart baking apples, peeled, sliced (4 cups)
1/3    cup plus 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2    cup all-purpose flour
1/2     cup quick-cooking oats
1/2     to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4     teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3     cup cold butter or margarine
1/4     cup chopped pecans, if desired
1        cup heavy whipping cream
1/4     cup caramel topping 
1        teaspoon vanilla (I added for funsies)
Crank the oven to 375 degrees. I wouldn't recommend doing this during one of Summer's final death throes, unless you really want apples damn it! Grease an 8 or 9 inch pan. I only have 9 and frankly have never seen an 8 incher in my life despite so many recipes calling for one. I think recipe makers are just screwing with us.
 Have your husband, coworker, or fellow apple connoisseur who snuck into the orchard with you peel the apples as you quarter them and curse while chopping out the seeds and tossing some of the leftovers to a dog pacing about your legs.   Toss in 1/3 cup of the brown sugar and coat those apples. I also added in a teaspoon of vanilla because I figured what the hell. The original didn't call for it but when has vanilla destroyed anything? Right vanilla halibut with vanilla red potatoes?   In a large bowl, hear me stupid recipe, not a medium bowl but a large one -- LARGE --  stir together the 2/3 cup brown sugar, the oats, the flour, the cardamom and cinnamon.
 Now comes the part where I toss oats and flour all over the kitchen because I used a MEDIUM bowl as you so instructed Mr. I-know-everything recipe. Cut in the butter supposedly with a pastry blender which looks more like massage paraphernalia used by the 50 Shades of Grey crowd. This is when a much larger bowl becomes necessary unless you really wanted to sow your oats all over the linoleum (just don't write a fanfic about it, please!).   After I'd already finished and had it all in the oven I learned of a much wiser Alton Brown approach to get your butter super hard in the fridge and then grate it into mixture. Sounds much easier, I cannot say if it works or not as I did not do it. Messes are far more fun.   Anyway, once you finished with that dump in the pecans. They give it a lovely nutty pecan flavor and this is coming from someone who hates almost all nuts.
 Now just dump the apples into the greased baking dish, then the crumbles over top. It looks like you tried to bury your evidence of an orchard haul in kitty litter.
 Now just into the oven for 30-45 minutes until the top gets nice and brown and it smells tasty. (how I decide every thing I'm baking is done)
 To make the topping I stuck a bowl in a freezer for about 15 minutes, then filled it with whipped cream (in this case out of a can because it's what I had) and then dropped in some caramel from the ice cream aisle and stirred it all together. I didn't break out the fancy stuff because I didn't have it or want to but it still tasted good, so if you care about pretty follow the original directions. If you just want to eat your apple crisp alone without all of instagram judging you, you can do my lazy approach.   Viola! Apple crisp.
 It's a nice, nutty mix of almost everything fall, with the apples not quite reaching mushy stage and the oats a crisp sweet crunch. All you need is the smell of decaying leaves on a wet afternoon and a couple of starbucks employees to complete the autumnal package.

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