This dessert is out of this world good and oh so comforting. It is definitely one of my personal favorites and I have Mrs. Ina Garten to thank for it. I have a lot of things to thank her for.
What you get in the finished product is apples, sweet and soft, seasoned to perfection with cinnamon and a topping that is crunchy and carmel-y tasting from the brown sugar added to it. It's really a knock out. Add some Breyers vanilla bean ice cream and whoever you are serving this to is bound to be one happy camper! I made this dessert for SK8 church so I didn't even get to have any, sniffle. But let me tell you it was shear torture smelling it. Okay, so I took a few pinches from the topping and snarfed, you caught me. It was the highlight of my day. I'm not dramatic much, am I? Seriously, I've made this particular dessert more than a few times so I know full well what I was missing.
As with most crisps, this is very rustic so it would be perfect on your thanksgiving table as a different option along with the usual pumpkin pie. It won't be on my Thanksgiving table this year, however, because I am a severe traditionalist (at least in this point of my life I am) and on Thanksgiving we have 3 different pies. Two Pumpkin, a Dutch Apple and Pecan. No ifs, ands or butts about it. But seeing as how we have Dutch apple, we will sort of get the same kind of taste as the crisp. But, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm inviting some people over for dinner though, just so I can make this crisp. Not that you need an excuse. Only if you want to spread the love it will surely bring.
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
adapted from "Barefoot Contessa Parties!"
5 pounds McIntosh or Macoun apples
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
FOR THE TOPPING:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. butter a 9 x 14 x 2-inch oval baking dish.
Peel, core, and cut apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the juices, sugar and spices. Pour into the dish.
To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. mix on low speed until the mixer is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.
Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for one hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
In the recipe I say to peel the apples. You might be able to tell in my picture that I didn't peel the apples. That would be why there is a tinge of pink to the final product. Do what I say not as I do. Listen, I was making 5 batches of this. I can't peel 30 apples and stay sane, give me a break! But I usually do, so do it if you can. Otherwise cheat like me, it looks pretty good, and I won't tell. Also, Ina adds the zest of both a lemon and orange to her apples with the spices and sugar before baking. I omit it because I think it imparts too much of a citrus-y note in an otherwise homey dessert. If you like it, knock yourself out.