One of our favorite apple dishes is apple crisp from Cook’s Illustrated. We discovered this recipe about two years ago, and keep coming back to it for Thanksgiving, pot lucks, fall breakfasts….
I actually follow their recipe better than I do most, with changes for lack of certain ingredients in my kitchen at the time. For example, today I am out of lemon juice, so I used Key Lime juice. I used instant cider.
The topping is straightforward. Combine in a medium bowl:
- 3/4 c. all purpose flour
- 3/4 c finely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 c lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t. sea salt
- 8 T. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 450°.
For the filling, combine in a large bowl:
- 3 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4″ slices (see note below)
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
I dislike peeling and coring apples. But I do think this recipe is best with peeled apples. However, rather than using a corer, then trying to make flat slices from round wedges, (The comments on CI talk about even thickness of the slices helps the apples cook evenly), I segment my apples by slicing off one side after the other and end up with a square core. I can’t explain it very well, so we have pictures.
The CI recipe uses an oven safe skillet for a one pan recipe. Today, I decided to use my 12″ cast iron skillet (which I had made breakfast potatoes in yesterday). I was curious about what flavors that would add to the apple crisp, AND what flavors that will add to whatever I cook in this pan next.
In the skillet, melt:
2 T. unsalted butter. When the foaming subsides, add
1 c. apple cider
and simmer until reduced by 1/2.
Pour concentrated cider into a cup and add 2 t. key lime juice.
Add apples to skillet and cook, stirring frequently for about 12-14 minutes.
Do not fully cook the apples. Pour the cider mixture over the apples and toss gently to coat.
CI adds the topping now and puts the skillet into the oven to cook. But I like to split the recipe between two 9″x9″ pans and have one for now and freeze one for later.
I divide the apple mixture between the two pans, then divide the topping evenly between the two pans. Bake the crisp for 15-20 minutes until the topping is dark brown.
This morning, I sprinkled some Blush Alaea sea salt from Hawaii on top of my serving. It was a pretty pink color and added an extra flavor that made me feel like I was getting a special treat. 🙂