I saw a few leaves trying to change color the other day, so it seemed like a good time to turn those ginger gold apples into a crisp to match the feeling of fall in the air. This recipe is adapted from another favorite cookbook, Fields of Greens, “Apple-Rhubarb Crisp,” but without the rhubarb.
Somerville, Annie. “Apple-Rhubarb Crisp.” Fields of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes from the Celebrated Greens Restaurant. New York: Bantam, 1993. 372.
Preheat oven to 375°; butter an 8″ or 9″ square baking dish
Prepare crisp topping/streusel:
1 cup all-purpose flour—whole wheat flour would make for an interesting taste
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar—use all brown sugar for a richer flavor
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick cold butter cut into small cubes
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Into the dry ingredients, cut the butter with a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers. I used my fingers, smashing the cubes of butter between thumbs and forefingers until the whole mixture was roughly blended. You’re not looking to create a fine meal, but to have some larger pieces of butter that begin to melt immediately in the oven.
Add the walnuts and stir in. Set aside or refrigerate for another time.
Prepare the apples and assemble the crisp:
6-7 cups peeled, sliced apples of your choice—any apple that would be good in a pie works. I had 7 ginger gold apples on hand, an early-season variety of apple, and one Fuji apple.
1/8-1/4 cup white sugar
Peel and core your apples. I do have a good apple corer and a good peeler, but I usually use the cheap flexible knife in the photo to quarter the apples, core, and peel—it works very quickly. The thin, flexible blade makes it easy to cut out just the core and not waste any flesh (of the apple; you’re on your own with your fingers).
Add the apples to the baking dish. I used an 8″ square dish and it was completely filled, although the crisp will settle as it cools. Sprinkle the second amount of sugar over the apples (skip this if trying to cut down on sugar). As I note at the beginning, I buttered the baking dish, which is not in the original recipe. Additionally, you could dot the apples with butter, as you do before putting a second crust on a pie.
Cover the top with the streusel, but don’t pat it down. You’re not making a crust. I put the whole amount in the center and push it out to the sides with my fingers. It seems like a lot of topping, but that’s fine.
Bake for about 40 minutes at 375° or until brown. If using a glass dish, you will be able to see the filling bubble; it may bubble up to the top of the crisp at the sides or not. Serve warm. Whipped cream or ice cream is optional, or maybe essential in your house.