Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Apple Edition Part 2: When Things Crumble

My Jean-ius trousers are done, done, done, but not photographed yet. So in the interim, here is the second episode of my apple adventure...

The weather in the NY area was SO gorgeous last weekend that on Sunday morning Phin and I added to my apple hoard. We picked 22lbs of apples. (What can I say? I get my money's worth out of my U-Pick season pass.) About half of the apples are for eating and the other half are for baking.

Once we were home, my head was in a cookbook. Since I wanted to use up lots of apples, a crumble* seemed like the way to go. I reached for my trusty KAF Bakers Companion and was off and running.

Thirty minutes later, crumble was in the oven...

At this point there was a ninety minute interlude while the crumble baked and the house smelled so incredibly good that I was climbing the walls. After that...

The crumble cooled, while I paced. Then it was time to eat...

Everything tastes better in a stemmed glass

 A little vanilla ice cream over warm gooey crumble is a thing of beauty.

om nom nom

I've made loads of crumbles and crisps in the past, but I've never had a real go-to recipe. But both Phin and I were so amazed at how good this was that there really is no contest with past versions. The apples were tender, the sauce was a caramel gooey goodness, and the crumble topping was crisp and buttery.

Yes, that gooey sauce IS as good as it looks

Apple Crumble
3lbs apples (7 med to lg) 
1/4 c rum or cider 
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp boiled cider optional 
3/4 c brown sugar (6 oz)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
3 tbsp flour
Peel, core and slice apples into 1/4" thick pieces. Place in a bowl with remainder of filling ingredients and mix (I used hands) to coat thoroughly. Spoon into a lightly greased 9x9 baking dish.

Streusel topping
1/2 c flour (2 oz)
1/2 c rolled oats (1 3/4 oz)
1/2 c brown sugar (4 oz)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
Stir together the first 6 ingredients to combine. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly, like making a pie crust. 

Sprinkle the topping over the apples. Bake for 90 minutes at 350. Cool for 20-30 min and enjoy warm. 

A few notes:
  • Apples - the recipe called for granny smiths and macs, but I used a mix of Greening, Empire, Cortland and another that I'm forgetting at the moment. Use what you have/like.
  • I wanted to use more apples than the recipe called for and a 9x13 dish. So, I used about 10 med and large apples, but left the rest of the recipe measurements alone. 
  • Since I really love cinnamon, I replaced the nutmeg and ginger with more of it. 
  • I used my Cuisinart to make the topping. 
  • Don't skip the rum - I used a Jamaican rum. It doesn't make the crumble at all boozy, but really enhances the sauce's flavor.
  •  I did skip the cider. Next time I won't. More sauce. 
  • Next time I may cut down on the sugar by about a third. This is about as sweet as I would want it, and that was using more apples than called for. 
* I've heard that the difference between a crisp and a crumble is that a crumble has oats in the streusel topping while a crisp does not. But I've seen crisp recipes with oats in it. So I think there is enough confusion that the two are pretty synonymous. I won't even get into varieties that have nuts in topping... or mention cobblers... or brown betties...

No comments: