1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground nutmeg (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup (30 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup (40 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
6 cups (1.2 L) Granny Smith Apples or other firm, tart-tasting apple (peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks)
1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons (40 grams) white granulated sugar
Apple Crisp: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray with a cooking spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2 inch (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking dish. (Can also make 8 individual ramekins.)
Topping: Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugars, spices, butter, oats and nuts) in a food processor and process until the mixture is crumbly (looks like coarse meal) and there are no large pieces of butter visible. (This can also be done with two knives or your fingertips.) Set aside while you prepare the filling.
Filling: Place the apple chunks in a large bowl, along with the berries (if using) and lemon zest. Toss with the lemon juice and sugar. Transfer to your prepared baking dish Spread the topping evenly over the apples.
Bake for approximately 30 - 40 minutes (20 - 25 minutes for individual ramekins) or until bubbly, and the topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
Apple crisp belongs to a long line of simple baked desserts that combine fresh fruit with a topping. Cobblers, Crumbles, Grunts, Brown Bettys, Pandowdies, and Crisps may be called old-fashioned and homey but having a dessert of warm baked fruit topped with a tasty crust is hard to resist. Unlike a cobbler that uses a biscuit dough topping, this Apple Crisp uses a streusel-like mixture of flour, white and brown sugars, ground cinnamon, and butter, along with rolled oats and nuts.
The name 'Crisp' or 'Crumble' comes from the fact that when you pull this dessert from the oven you will notice how wonderfully crisp and crumbly the topping has become. Apple Crisps are especially popular during the fall and winter months which just happens to coincide with the apple's harvest time. If you can, use locally grown apples as their flavor and texture are superior to those found in grocery stores. Combining two or more varieties makes for a flavorful crisp as does adding some fresh raspberries or even blackberries, that favorite British combination. But don't worry if you can't get local apples, varieties like Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, and McIntosh, to name a few, are also excellent. Apple crisps are delicious warm from the oven with a dollop of softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
This apple crisp's topping contains old fashioned rolled oats. Oats are a cereal grain that is rich and flavorful and comes in many forms. Very popular in Northern Europe, Scotland and Ireland. Oats to be consumed by humans are cleaned, toasted, hulled to become what we call oat groats. The oat groats are then steamed and flattened to become rolled oats or old-fashioned oats. Old-fashioned rolled oats are not to be confused with quick-cooking rolled oats. These are oats have been cut into pieces before being steamed and rolled into thinner flakes. They cook quickly, about 5 minutes, but their flavor and texture are a little different than old-fashioned rolled oats. I do not recommend using the quick-cooking rolled oats in this recipe.