Recently, I received two requests for apple recipes. This is divine intervention, because God has nothing better to do with her time than gently urge me toward new blogging material. My husband’s sister, who lives halfway across the world, wrote to tell me she enjoys my blog. Thank you, my globe-galavanting SIL, I enjoy it too. She also said she would enjoy a recipe for “Apple Anything.”
Well, as it happens, I saw this galette recipe in Bon Appetit’s November issue. This is a pretty, but not too intimidating, ending to a meal. It’s the girl-next-door of desserts.
At my house, we just finished off a box of Honeycrisp apples, and may be ready to move on to Pink Ladies, which were awaiting harvest until the first frost. Eating and baking with apples easily makes my What Makes Washington a Great State list.* However, I am not as enamoured of Honeycrisps as most people. They sashayed into the spotlight a couple years ago, to much fanfare, but they lack a certain depth. I prefer Macintoshes, Zestars and Winesaps.
The second request, which came from my supervisor, Pam, will require something slightly more thrown together (less girl-next-door, more neighbor-lady). As Pam said in warning, “I only found out about cilantro and jicama last year.” So, I won’t make her scrape out any vanilla bean pods; a simple apple crisp will do nicely. But in spite of her protests, she may have to zest. I think that citrus zest is indispensable to crisp. If you absolutely have a religious or moral objection to zesting, (and please consider what a lack of/refusal to zest says about you) then squeeze some juice on the apples, please.
My mother has an apple peeler that removes an apple’s skin in one, mesmerizing, continuous strip. My young nephew was seen jumping rope (jumping peel) with one the other day. I know you were wondering how much peel it takes to give a small 7 year old boy adequate jumping material and the answer is: one medium apple’s worth.
I decided to make this apple crisp with cranberries (and their addition was so scrumptious it knocked our socks off and into the wash) and a mix of butter and coconut oil. I added cashew meal but Pam, my dove, DON’T START BITING YOUR NAILS. Use apples only, butter only, and skip the cashew meal, if you like.
These proportions are for a 13×9 pan, so halve them for an 8×8 square or 9 inch round pan.
1 cup oats
3/4 cup flour or gluten free flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cashew meal
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional but it’s my favorite spice)
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
If you are using a food processor then blitz up the dry ingredients first. Then add the butter, oil and vanilla extract and pulse until crumbly. If you are using your hands, work the butter in by rubbing it between your fingers and thumb. Cold hands help! When you have something that resembles crumbliness before you, refrigerate it.
Apples, peeled and thinly sliced, at least 6, preferably more depending on size
1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries
Zest of an entire orange plus a bit of the juice (if using only apples, I suggest lemon here)
a scant 1/4 cup of brown sugar to taste
Mix all the fruit up and start low on the sugar, tasting as you mix, to get just the right amount. The fruit has to speak, so don’t smother it in sugar. Tip all this fruit into your buttered baking dish (okay, I do the mixing in the baking dish to save a bowl because I despise kitchen clean-up) and cover with the topping. Bake at 350 until golden.
We enjoyed this with whipped cream flavored with vanilla extract (and with some friends). This was hardly time-consuming, but now that I have written it all out it looks like such an involved recipe. It’s the lady-next-door-who-asks-you-not-to-grow-carrots-in-your-garden-because-they-give-her-acid-reflux-and-seeing-them-over-the-fence-causes-her-emotional-distress of desserts. But boy, is it delicious.
* My What Makes Washington a Great State list includes, but is not limited to: the view from Mt. Elinor, skinny-dipping in Surprise Lake, Lake Chelan (sadly, too many people around for going starkers), Top Pot Donuts (they made me put my clothes back on there, too) and of course, our inclusive marriage laws.