It’s officially apple season and the golden delicious tree is burgeoning.
So, last Sunday I slapped together an apple crisp sans recipe, though my trusty assistant in culinary crimes–my wife and herder of Buddy the Rescue Dog–pulled up an Epicurious recipe for a crust topping as a guide. For the filling, I just knew what ingredients I wanted and went from there.
Result: a caramelly ooze —gee, go figure, when the cook indiscriminately tosses in plenty of brown sugar and enough flour…well, there were the sweet cherries and their juice, and the chunks of golden delicioius–well, you get the picture… and the crust was as good as the apple-goo.
On its own, this is a ‘will bake again’ item. As always, though, I did stray ‘just a bit’…
I added allspice to both the apple mixture and the flour mixture.
When it comes to cinnamon, I just don’t get the low doses in most recipes. Can’t remember the last time I actually measured cinnamon.
I added rehydrated Craisins.
I made my own ‘apple sauce’. I just mashed away at, and then seasoned, chunks of golden delicious with the pastry cutter. And mashed away some more.
Figuring on a more moist result, I used a loaf pan instead of a 9” x 13” pan.
Fearing there might be spillover, I scooped out about a cup of the mixture and slathered that into a greased pie pan. Gotta say, when revisiting this recipe, I’ll be tempted to go exclusively with pie pans. It’s a quicker bake and four smaller cakes open the door to more experimentation, say a little creme de cassis reduction for one of them…and Ree Drummond’s Easy Caramel Sauce for another. Come to think of it…I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have those on hand for slices of this current version…
**“No, deeeear! I don’t know anyone named Autumn!”
You find out that the distance between you and YouTube is just a voice command and a few clicks on the TV remote and there really is no reason to leave the recliner.
Okay, maybe you don’t know how it is. [i.e. you are not a slothful low-life.]
Anywaaay, this recipe from joyofbaking.com was the first to show up on the big screen. Stephanie Jaworski’s demonstration was clear and concise. My version matched the one in the video. Always reassuring. The baking time was within the +/- 5 minutes margin-of-oven-performance estimation. Taste and moistness and ingredient ratios–spot on. Final grade: 91%. [Bravo, Stephanie!]
Ready for baking:
More than a few notes:
One of the best parts of baking–Wife comes in the front door, breathes in, and announces to the world: “Someone’s been baaaaking!”
Liked Stephanie’s idea of making an apricot jam glaze. I went with raspberry. Yep, I’d do it again. Always one to hedge my bets, I glazed only half the cake.
I add tons more cinnamon than is called for and included allspice as well.
I mixed brown with white sugar.
No raisins in the house [my preferred dried fruit]. I went with dried cranberries, which I nuked in water for about 45 seconds to tenderize them a bit. Wouldn’t have hurt if I subbed in brandy or creme de cassis for the water.
I’m sure this has been suggested elsewhere in the world, but…the microwave’s ‘defrost’ setting works great for melting butter. Ditto for gently reheating certain delicate leftovers like shrimp.
Type of apple used: Winter banana [from our weekly community-supported agriculture box. A shout-out to Denison Farms, by the way.]
I cook/bake better when a towel is draped over my shoulder. Go figure. I’m not an Emeril Lagasse fan-boy, but he rocks that same shoulder accessory.
Yes, I will continue my socially marginal habit of consuming cake by the manually mangled hunk.
Where did today’s inspiration come from? A. Those winter banana apples weren’t going to cook themselves. B. The apple festival-winning cake in last night’s Hallmark movie. [Hey, call me a wuss, but our current crop of semi-journalistically responsible ‘BREAKING NEWS!!!!’ channels are just plain bad for our health. If I’m going to engage in harmful behaviors, they’ll include flour, sugar, butter and a message to someone that I care about them.]
Lest you think my life is perfection on a plate, consider this:
Our toothpicks are scattered throughout the pot holder drawer. Really…rounding them up and replacing them in a too-small box, from which they will no doubt roll out within minutes…unfathomable torture.
I miss having a dog lurking nearby watching my every move.
Thanks for visiting. Give this recipe a try. It has ‘comfort on a fall Sunday afternoon’ written all over it.