You know when you go apple picking, and the orchards are filled with four or five varieties of apples, and you carefully pick a few from each tree, telling yourself you will remember which is which, only to return home with a giant bag of apples that look identical, even though they apparently aren't?
I do this every year. It will probably happen again next week when I go apple picking. I already bought a few apples from the market, which got mixed up in my fridge. I think I used Sunrise apples for this recipe, but maybe they were Cortlands.
Apple crisps are very forgiving. If you use apple varieties that break down when heated (like McIntosh apples), you end up with a saucier apple crisp. Delish! If you use a firmer apple that can take the heat and keep its shape (like a Granny Smith, or Delicious apples), you end up with a firmer crisp that is still delightful. If you use Cortlands, you'll end up with a dessert that's somewhere in between.
The Sunrise variety maintain their shape when baked, but the slices become oh-so-soft on the inside. So, this apple crisp is not a soupy, apple-saucy mess, but it's just as comforting.
For the crisp topping, I used a combination of all-purpose and buckwheat flours. The buckwheat flour gives it a stronger, earthier flavor that I happen to like. If you don't, stick with all-purpose. You could also replace some of the flour with oats. While I opted to use melted butter to make the crumble topping, cold, cubed butter also works. Just work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers. Apple crisps are forgiving, so whatever ingredients you use, it'll be yummy.
- 35 grams unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 15 grams light brown sugar
- 25 grams granulated sugar
- 50 grams flour (I used half buckwheat and half all-purpose flours)
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch cloves
- pinch salt
- 4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Lightly grease a 6- or 7-inch cast-iron skillet (or a 6- or 7-inch cake pan). Set aside.
- For the crumble topping, in a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the vanilla, followed by the sugars, flour(s), salt, and spices, and stir until the mixture is combined to make a paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl to cool completely. Set aside for later.
- For the filling, toss the apples with the sugar. Pour them evenly into the bottom of the skillet.
- Scatter the crumble topping over the apples, and bake the apple crisp for about 1 hour until the apples are cooked through, and the edges are bubbling a little.
- Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.