Apple Crisps with Pecan-Oatmeal Topping

I feel a little bad for apples. After all, every Fall without fail, I get so caught up in Pumpkin Season --  making pumpkin pie, cake, french toast, and muffins -- that I forget that pumpkin isn't the only Fall ingredient in town. I'm not sure why this happens -- apples are just as wonderful and as versatile as pumpkin, and pair wonderfully with all the classic Fall spices, like cinnamon and ginger, after all -- so this year I'm trying to be a bit more fair in my autumnal baking, and include both pumpkin and apple equally. Hopefully no one feels left out now.

So, apples! In the U.S, Fall is synonymous with apples, and apple season is a pretty big deal. The arrival of October means apple donuts and apple cider, plus visits to the apple orchard for apple picking, which translates in to homemade apple pie, caramel apples, or apple crisp. This brings us to today's recipe. Apple Crisp, for those of you who do not know, is similar to the cobbler I explained previously on this blog. It consists of a layer of baked fruit, usually tossed with a little sugar, that is then covered with topping, made from butter, sugar, and flour. 

I don't think I would be exaggerating  here to say that this is perhaps the best Apple Crisp you will ever make or eat. Let me explain: the apples here are left to shine, complimented (not overwhelmed) by just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar, and the topping is reminiscent of an oatmeal cookie -- spicy and buttery almost caramel-y thanks to the brown sugar, with pieces of crunchy pecan throughout. Needless to say, this is all taken to a whole other level of deliciousness when served warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (I've never met a crisp or cobbler not made better by vanilla ice cream). In short, this is exactly what you want to eat on a chilly Fall day -- it really doesn't get any cozier or more autumnal than this, my friends. 

A couple of notes: As you may have guessed from these individual french toasts, these mini crostate, and these tiramisu, I am a big fan of individual desserts (there's something kind of special about having a crisp just for yourself) but you could also probably bake this in one large serving if you wanted to. I used a mix of red and green apples for this crisp as I like the mix of sweet and tart flavors, but you can use whatever kind of apples you want. Enjoy everyone!


Ingredients for filling:
4 medium apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, chopped into
1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, or more to taste
1 tablespoon flour

Ingredients for topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch 
2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter four 1 1/4-cup ramekins. Mix all filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Let the apples sit for 5 minutes. Divide the filling among the prepared ramekins. Bake the apple mixture until bubbling at edges, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Blend the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until coarse meal forms, then mix in the pecans.

Crumble the topping evenly over the apples. Bake until the topping is golden brown, apples are tender, and the apple juices are bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.

1 comment :

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