Quin-tes-sen-tial. adjective Repesenting the most perfect or typical example of quality or class...
If ever there was such a thing, my recipe for Old Fashioned Apple Crisp is it! I've been making this for as long as I've been old enough to peel apples! And finally time that I re-shot the photos and re-posted!
This is always one of the first things I bake in the Fall, and we probably make dozens of this perfect apple crisp each season!
Perfect warm from the oven, perfect with vanilla bean ice cream or cinnamon-spiced sweet whipped cream, perfect drizzled with Salted Caramel Sauce, just plain perfect!
Using the right apples is always the trick to a perfect apple crisp or pie. Unfortunately not all apples are created equal - to help you all out, I'm sharing my "Apple Basics Tutorial".
Good baking apples have a balance of intense sweet-tart flavor and will not fall apart when baked in the oven. You want them to hold their texture and shape and not turn into mush!
Always use a blend of tart and sweet apples, which makes for a more complex-tasting pie, crisp or pastry. A blend of apples will also contribute varying textures and flavors.
For Apple Crisp, I have learned to cut my apples into small 1/2-inch "cubes", as it keeps the texture of the apples consistent in every bite - tender and sweet! Save your apple slices for Escalloped Apples or Apple Pie.
And this topping is absolutely perfect! Buttery, brown sugar infused, perfectly tender and chewy oatmeal...it just melts down through and all over the top of the tender apples.
I have a few little ones that aren't crazy for nuts, so I'll make some batches without nuts, and others studded with fresh pecans. So good either way!
After you take this out of the oven, make sure to let it come to room temperature, as it will thicken slightly as it cools!
And don't ruin this by putting a scoop of ice cream on TOP of it...put the vanilla bean or butter pecan ice cream in the bowl FIRST, and then top with a scoopful or two of warm and wonderful Apple Crisp! That way it will melt down all over your ice cream, and the topping will stay a little bit crunchy and chewy - not soggy!
I'd better get my spoon before it's all gone! Enjoy the season of apples!
HOW WE MAKE THIS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in bottom third of oven. Spray 8-inch square pan or 2-quart casserole with non-stick cooking spray.
2. PREPARE APPLE FILLING: Peel, core and cut apples into ½-inch cubes. Measure out 6 cups and place in a large bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice and stir gently. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Sprinkle over top of apples, and stir gently until apples are evenly coated. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
3. PREPARE TOPPING: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender (or a fork or your fingertips) quickly blend butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs. If you are adding pecans, now is the time to stir them in as well. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apple filling.
4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the topping is golden brown, the juices are bubbling all over and the apples are tender.
5. Serve warm over ice cream, or top with sweetened whipped cream (try adding a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to your whipped topping for something special).
SERVINGS: 8 servings
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