Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Apple Crisp Recipe: How To Make A Great Apple Dessert

By Ben Cook

An apple dessert made from apples and has a delicious crunchy crust on top is called apple crisp in the United States. It is called by the name apple crumble in Britian and both use apples, butter, brown sugar or granulated sugar, flour or oatmeal, cinnamon, and other spices to make a delectable apple crisp recipe. This is a type of peasant dish only being presented to families and never served during the holiday or when guests come to call.

There seems to be some sort of confusion with some other kinds of desserts made with apples. There is a dish called apple brown bettie that is made by layers of apples alternating with layers of sugar laiden bread or crackers and slathered with a sauce. Another dish uses drop biscuits on top of the apples and is called by several names including apple cobbler or apple grunt, slump or apple pandowdy.

Fannie Farmer's Cook book that appeared in'96 was the first to publish the recipe. It was being presented on tables long before that. It is always made during the autumn of the year because that is the time when the apple crop is harvested. You can also make it with canned apples to bring that flavor to the table any time. Several variations may include fruits that are in season at the time you make it such as different berries or peaches.

The types of apples needed to make apple crisp are called cooking apples. They are tart and a little more firm than other apples and will stand up to baking and not get mushy. Varieties that make good cooking apples are Granny Smith, McIntosh, Jonathan, Northern Spye, and Winesap.

A simple version of apple crisp can be made using 6 large apples that have been peeled and sliced, three fourths cup rolled oats, one half cup brown sugar packed, one half cup flour, one half teaspoon cinnamon and six tablespoons of room temperature butter. You would core, peel and slice the apples and place them in the bottom of a 9 inch square baking dish that has been buttered so they won't stick. In a bowl the other ingredients would be combined and mixed with a pastry cutter or forks to resemble fine crumbs and then spread over top. It would be cooked in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes then removed to cool slightly. It should be cut into squares and served warm with vanilla ice cream over top. Some people prefer whipped cream over top.

Another version adds some cheese to the ingredients. A traditional dish is apple pie and a slice of Cheddar cheese and this recipe is based upon that tradition. You will need 6 apples that have been cored, peeled and sliced; one third teaspoon of cinnamon, six teaspoons apple juice, one half stick of butter, three fourths cup sugar, one teaspoon lemon juice, one eight teaspoon salt, one half cup flour, and one fourth pound grated Cheddar cheese. Again the apples should be sliced and placed in a nine inch square baking dish. The cinnamon should be sprinkled over top and then the apple juice and lemon juice added. In a bowl the butter should be at room temperature and be cut into the flour with a pastry cutter or fork. The sugar and salt are added next and then the shredded cheese. The mixture should be crumbly and is placed over the apple mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 40 minutes until it is bubbling and crust is crisp. Let this version cool a little but serve warm and you can serve with ice cream.

Suppose there is no apples to use but you have an abundance of zucchini in your garden. You can make that zucchini taste like apple crisp. You will need five cups of peeled and seeded zucchini that has been sliced about the size of an apple slice, one third cup sugar, one fourth cup lemon juice, one teaspoon cinnamon and three fourths cup apple juice or cider. Place this mixture in a saucepan and bring to a boil simmering for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. Place all in a deep dish pie pan. In a bowl you will need to combine six tablespoons room temperature butter, one fourth teaspoon salt, one teaspoon baking powder, one cup flour and one half cup brown sugar. Cut this mixture with a pastry cutter or fork and when it is crumbly like fine meal place it over the zucchini mixture in the pie pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes and serve warm with ice cream. It will taste like apple crisp.

Try making one of these recipes for your family during the autumn when apples ripen. If they haven't had it before they will ask for it again and again. If you have made apple crisp before try making the one with cheese to surprise your family or try the one with zucchini and amaze your family that a vegetable can taste like apples. Apple crisp should be a dessert your family looks forward to once summer is over and fall descends with cool winds and apple crops.

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