The quest for America.
The quest to land on the moon.
The quest for a map of the human genome.
The quest for the cure for AIDS.
The quest for the perfect apple.
One (and only one) of these things concerned me this weekend.
I went apple picking! (Incidentally, do you enjoy these pictures of yours truly? Do they add to the experience? Or no? I appreciate the feedback.)
It was a gorgeous day in the TriState area so Boy and I took a little trip down to an orchard for some afternoon fun in the sun with some apples.
And I’m sure we’re not the only people who suffer from this problem but we really got into the quest for the perfect looking apple and would pick, and pick, and pick to our heart’s content until the bags got a little too heavy for even Boy to carry. (My heart soared when he grabbed my bag early on in the picking. That meant one hand for pictures and one for apples! Yay!) Then we realized that the two of us had to eat two entire bags of apples. Oh goodness. We picked Granny Smith, Winesap, Fuji, and Empire apples and I couldn’t wait to get started on some fall baking!
I had gone apple picking a few years ago with different friends from school and afterwards held a get-together at my place. I spent the afternoon baking an apple pie and an apple crisp and I think Boy started his crush on me when he bit into that crisp. He couldn’t get enough!
So this year when we finally got around to doing it ourselves, I knew it was the first thing I had to make.
Take a look at this little beauty:
Oh baby. I am on a roll with this thing! I was peeling, coring, and slicing apples like no one’s business. It definitely makes the process go a lot faster and it’s actually kinda fun to use! You just crank the apple through the device and it takes care of the rest. All you have to do at the end is make a cut down the middle of the slices to separate them and you’re good to go. Perfect for making pies, crisps, or even just to slice an apple for a snack. I also loved the suction bottom so the device wasn’t slipping and sliding all over the place. You can use it for potatoes etc too. I’m looking forward to trying that out! I highly highly recommend this product. It’s my apples’ new best friend.
So, after processing all my apples in under 5 minutes, I got to work on my favorite crisp recipe. Ina Garten is one of my favorite Food Network hosts. Her recipes never cease to impress and they’re often quite simple with perhaps a little twist for an extra oomph. The oomph in this case is the addition of citrus. The result is a wonderful tang to the crisp that’s perfectly offset by the crumbly topping which also has its own oomph in the form of kosher salt though I’m sure sea salt would be extra fabulous!
adapted from Ina Garten
Makes one 9″ x 14″ baking dish’s worth of crisp.
- 5 lb baking apples, peeled, cored & sliced (I used Winesaps & Granny Smiths in about equal proportions)
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- zest of one orange
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
- 1 c oatmeal
- heaping 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and diced
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9″ x 14″ baking dish.
For filling, Toss apples in the remainder of the filling ingredients. Pour into baking dish.
For topping, pour all topping ingredients into a stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, beat until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is somewhat uniform. Alternatively, use a pastry cutter or two butter knives running in opposite directions (which is what I did) until the same endpoint is reached. Scatter over apples in the baking dish.
Bake on top of a foil-lined baking sheet in case of spill for 1 hour or until brown and bubbly.
What are you making with your fall apples?