Apple Crisp

My neighbor, Michelle Ellis, has a chocolate Labrador retriever nicknamed “Carb Boy.” Weighing in at a hefty 90 pounds, Koda Bear just loves carbohydrates. Last Wednesday he ate a whole loaf of bread from the farmers market. Then on Saturday he wolfed down a dozen Krispy Cream doughnuts in about 2 seconds!  For him, anything left on the kitchen counter is considered “fair game”! To deter him, she usually puts all the items he loves in the microwave.  What cracks me up is that she will ask him, “Coda did you eat those doughnuts”? And he will give her the most innocent look as if to say, “What me? Eat all those doughnuts? Never!!” The only evidence he ever leaves is a few small pieces of plastic or paper on the floor!

There is nothing like eating hot apple crisp on a cool fall evening.

Apple Crisp
3 tablespoons apple cider reduction
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 cups of Macintosh or Granny Smith apples (about 6 apples)
Peeled, stems and seeds removed, chunky dice
1/2 cup Craisins
Peel from 1 lemon, micro-planed
1 lemon, juiced

In a small saucepan bring 1/2 cup apple cider to a boil. Reduce liquid by half. Measure out 3 tablespoons of reduced apple cider and reserve the remainder for another use. In a small bowl stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir to combine. In another large bowl, grate the peel from one lemon with a micro-plane. Squeeze juice from lemon into the same bowl. Peel, stem and core apples. Cut into chunks. Add apples, Craisins and apple cider reduction to large bowl. Stir to coat apples with liquids. Add sugar- flour mixture to bowl and stir to coat apples with sugar-flour mixture.  Either put the entire filling into an 8 X 8 inch square baking dish or divide filling into eight, 7 ounce ramekins coated with nonstick spray. Top with crumb crust.

Apple Crisp Crumb Crust
¾ cup all purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Stir together flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cut butter into flour sugar mixture until it is the size of tiny peas. Add pecans if desired. Either use the entire crumb crust recipe on the 8 X 8 square baking dish or divide crumb crust between the eight ramekins. To catch drips, place 8 X 8 or ramekins on a jellyroll pan lined with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes for the 8 X 8 or 20 minutes for the ramekins. The crumb crust should be golden brown and the filling bubbling.

Published in The News and Neighbor on October 20, 2012

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