Monday, October 24, 2011

Apple Crunch

I realize most everyone has their favorite apple dessert recipe, the one they turn to again and again.  I'm not attempting to reinvent the wheel and I'm sure you have a personal favorite in your own recipe arsenal.  I'm simply sharing the one I turn to.  I thought of omitting this recipe, since there is an endless number of recipes you could turn to, but this blog is more about a personal recipe collection for me.  So when my brother invited us over for dinner last weekend and I offered to bring dessert, it was apple crunch he requested, and it was apple crunch he got.  It's not such a looker in all honesty, but that's the essence of a crunch.  It's homey and comforting and truth be told, fall wouldn't be complete, at least for me, without making this dessert at least once.  It made the cut.

The original recipe was my grandmothers,' passed onto me by my mother.  What I like best about this recipe is the topping.  Many similar recipes call for an oat crumble topping, but this is where our recipe differs, and this is what makes it standout for me.  Our topping has a crusty, almost biscuit-like consistency, without oats, that puffs and rises in the oven.  It's always been called apple crunch in our home, although you might call it a crisp or crumble.  I'm not sure if this is a regional difference or based upon ingredients.  In any case, this recipe is aptly named, as it has a great crunchy crust that sits atop cinnamon spiced sweet baked apples.  I've 'greenthymed' the original recipe, as I like to say, or altered it to pare down the sugar, swapping it for maple syrup.  I've also added whole-wheat flour to the mix and included a heftier ratio of crunch topping, if only to keep the crunch fighting to a minimum among the troops.

In an effort to convey just how enamored I am with this crunch topping, I'll share with you a childhood guilty admission. I once ate the entire topping off an apple crunch after it was cooling from the oven.  It started with a corner, continued with gaping holes, and by that point I couldn't stop myself.  I was already in too deep and polished it off.  My mother tried to put on her best stern face, but eventually laughed at the demolished dessert.  Everyone else had apples with the ice cream that night, sans crunch.  I, on the other hand, had a stomachache.  I think she threatened not making it again if I wasn't going to eat it the 'right' way.  I knew that wouldn't happen, and I have a copy of the original recipe to be sure of it.   

~Apple Crunch Recipe~

6-8 red apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4"-1/8" slices (any variety will do)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Crunch Topping:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup room temperature butter, cubed
1 egg beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350.  In an 8x8 baking dish, arrange apples and sprinkle apples with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Using you hands, give the apples a good toss to distribute the brown sugar and cinnamon.  In large bowl, combine both flours, baking powder, and sea salt.  Add in egg, maple syrup, and cubed butter.  Using the back of a fork, press down, and combine the mixture.  It will appear crumbly at first.  Keep working it until it is well combined.  The mixture will resemble wet cookie dough.  

Using your fingers, pick up small pieces of the mixture, dropping it on top of the apples.  It will be sticky, so just be patient while you work with it, filling in the gaps as you move along.  Continue with this process until you have used up all the topping.  Place in the middle rack in your oven and bake for 1 hour until the apples are bubbling around the edges and the top turns a light golden brown.  We served this warm with vanilla coconut ice cream.  Serves 6.


Sue/the view from great island said...

In my opinion, you can never re-invent crumbles or crisps too many times. Each little twist is worth tasting. I'm really looking forward to that puffy oat topping!

Anonymous said...

This looks so yummy! I don't really have "my" apple crisp recipe, although I do tend to re-use a couple over and over. But I'm always open to apple dessert recipes. One of my favorites doesn't have oats in it, and I like how crispy-crunchy it can get that way. Maybe I'll try out your version one day, Stephanie. :)

Velva said...

This is absolutely delightful. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Stephanie said...

Hi there Velva. Thanks for stopping by. Your blog is beautiful by the way. Nice to meet you.

Clair said...

Ha ha...I was also so immersed in your blog that I'm not even sure what post I commented on. I thought I was at your most recent.

This is beautiful as well!

Stephanie said...

Thanks Clair :)