With apple season upon us, how could we resist the urge to make a sweet and buttery fresh crisp with apples we picked ourselves! For a midweek treat we’re eating an apple crisp made with rolled oats, panko, flour, butter, sugar, and spices. The peeled apples were tossed with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne. Overall it was a great celebration of fall and the chilly weather to come.
Julian, CA apple orchardA: okay… so for me, a crisp is really a cop-out. it means that i didn’t want to put the effort into researching other desserts or making a crust or puff pastry, etc… but let me say this was a grrrrrreat cop-out!
T: totally. I don’t give 2 poops about how much effort went into it. I care about how it tastes, and this tasted fantttttastic! I love crisps- they’re as much about the buttery crisp part as they are about the apples (or other fruit). This was a good one. It’s cool that it was so easy.
A: i know, there really is nothing to a crisp. smoosh some stuff together, throw it on top of some sweetened fruit.. batabing, bataboom… you’ve got crisp!
T: what do you mean, “sweetened fruit”? fruit with sugar on it?
A: sure, but you could also sweeten with honey, or brown sugar, or artificial sweetener-
T: booo. Artificial sweetener?!? eeehhh. ok, go on.
A: anywho, fruit is rarely ever sweet enough on its own for a sugary dessert…. that is unless you like it tart! oooo! we should mention that we hand picked these organic apples at an orchard about 60 miles away in Julian, CA.
T: we certainly did, and it was fun. Until we ate too many apples, felt nauseated, and proceeded to get into the car with your dad behind the wheel. I like your dad a lot. That said, it was a jerky drive. Stomaches were upset. Moving on.
A: before moving on, let me say mine was fine! what wasn’t fine was the wine we tasted at the little winery directly beside the orchard! i believe the name of the place was Menghini. Let’s just say we tasted all they had in the tasting room and by the end I know i didn’t want to buy anything.
T: true. We’re not in Napa by any means. It was better than the strawberry wine at the Ponchatula Strawberry Festival we had a few years ago though. By far.
A: speak it my brother! that stuff was rank!
T: so, back to business. What are you going to rate this apple crisp?
A: for this i’m going to have to only compare the crisp to other sweets when i rate it. very few sweets rate as high as savories for me overall. this crisp gets a 4.33/5. that’s a great score! i think it was my best crisp yet. i used a few unusual ingredients this time that weren’t too noticeable. cayenne and panko for instance.
T: Yeah, I didn’t notice the cayenne (although I did see you put the panko in there). wait, I put the panko in there because your hands were dirty. Anyway, I give the crisp a 4.7/5. It was a stellar dessert, and I could happily gobble a gallon of it. Maybe not a gallon.
A: great! because we’re about to leave town for a wedding and we still have 2/3 of it in the fridge. apple crisp for dinner anyone?
T: ok that’s going too far.
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
3-4 lbs apples, ( a mix of granny smith, johnathons, or pipins), peeled and cut into 1/3" slices (keep apples in a bowl covered with water and the juice of 1 lemon until needed for the recipe, otherwise the apples will oxidize and start turning brown.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9" glass or ceramic pie dish.
To a mixing bowl, add the first 7 ingredients for the topping. Stir thoroughly. Add the small pieces of chilled butter to the seasoned oat and flour mixture. Using your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer/processor work the butter into the oat mixture until the larges crumbs are about the size of a pea. (Using a mixer or processor will make quick work of this part but I really enjoy doing it with my hands.) Once the butter has been incorporated, place the topping back in the fridge to chill until ready to use. This step can be prepared several hours in advance.
Drain the apples from the lemon water. Added the drained apples and all of the other ingredients for the filling into a large bowl. Toss to evenly combine all ingredients.
Pour the filling into butter pie dish. Evenly distribute the chilled topping over the filling. Place the crisp into the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven with a sheet pan underneath to catch any juices that may dribble out. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender when pierced with a knife or fork. Remove the crisp from the oven and place on a rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!