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I couldn’t resist making another apple dessert this past weekend.
My mama’s family had a pig-picking Saturday, and I wanted to take a dessert. For some reason, I had apple crisp on my mind. Maybe it’s the season or all those fresh apples I keep seeing at the grocery store.
I love warm desserts topped with ice cream, especially when hot apples are involved. Add a nice buttery topping, and you have an extra special treat.
I’ve made apple crisp several times before and shared recipes in my column. This time, I wanted to make enough for a crowd. I pulled out an old recipe of mine and made a few changes.
I like to use a variety of apples when I make apple desserts. This time, I chose Envy, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples. It took six or seven medium to large apples (I lost count) to get the 9 cups of apples I needed for this dessert. I didn’t peel the apples, but I did cut them into small pieces. Some cooks slice apples, instead of dicing, for crisps. While I diced the apples, I couldn’t resist sampling. I’m a big fan of Honeycrisp apples, and these were so good. I don’t remember trying Envy apples before, but I loved the sweet taste and was glad I bought extras to enjoy this week.
My daughter’s dog, Darla, was visiting Saturday and stood at my feet while I made the dessert. She was happy each time a piece of apple fell to the floor and quickly ate it.
Once the apples are diced, it only takes a few minutes to put together this dessert. The apples are mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon and placed in a large baking dish. The crumb topping is a mix of old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, vanilla and flour that’s spread over the apples.
I followed directions for another recipe and cooked the crisp at a high temperature for 10 minutes, then lowered the temperature for the remaining 20 minutes, leaving the crisp in the oven through this temperature change.
As you can imagine, my kitchen (and most of the house) smelled heavenly! As soon as the apple crisp cooled for a few minutes, I used a fork to pull out a piece of apple to make sure it was tender. I always worry when I try a new recipe that I am taking somewhere. But this one was good.
I wrapped the top in foil and took it with us to Saratoga. The vanilla ice cream was packed separately in an insulated bag. My cousin Martha Cayton had her oven warming for me. I turned off the oven and placed the apple crisp inside so it could stay warm until we were ready to eat it.
Once I finished my meal, I got a serving of apple crisp, topped it with ice cream and took it back to my chair. It was so good! My family seemed to agree as well. I love the different textures and temperatures of apple crisp topped with ice cream. I need to make it more often.
THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS RECIPE
• Although I liked the way the apple crisp turned out, I think it was too sweet. I used 1 1/4 cups of loosely packed brown sugar. Next time, I would use only 1 cup, maybe even a little less. The ice cream adds a lot of sweetness, and there’s also sugar in the topping.
• I like the idea of using a variety of apples in my recipes. Some of my favorite baking apples over the years include Macintosh, Rome, Gala, Jonathan, Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. I’ve also used a single variety for recipes and love that outcome as well.
• I bought Breyers lactose-free vanilla ice cream for this dessert because I knew at least two guests have issues with dairy. It was so soft and delicious with this dessert.
• It’s absolutely fine to leave the peels on the apple for baked desserts. The peel is good for you.
Lisa Boykin Batts has been writing a weekly food column since 2001. Her column includes recipes she and her family enjoy.
Apple Crisp For A Crowd
8-9 cups diced apples (I used a mix of Envy, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith; I do not peel)
1 cup of brown sugar, loosely packed (I used 1 1/4 cups the first time and thought it was too sweet; I might actually use a little less than a cup next time)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare baking dish, around 11X13-inch, with baking spray or butter.
Place diced apples in large baking dish. Add cinnamon and around 1 brown cup sugar and stir to coat apples.
Mix topping ingredients with a spoon or your fingers to make crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over apples.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for 20 minutes.