Fall is here, surprisingly humid as well as being shockingly frigid. But, as always, autumn manifests in pumpkin spice, apple orchards, sweater weather, crunchy leaves and cider donuts. I’ve gotten to visit an apple orchard in the past few weeks, as I’m sure many of you have. I came back with a massive bag of mediocre Granny Smith apples, so I decided to provide some insight!
For sweet apples:
Eat them raw! Often sweeter and softer, these apples are great sliced up with peanut butter or eaten whole since they don’t hold their shape once cooked. I love spreading some Nutella on slices! If you’re getting your apples at your local grocery store, they will likely be best eaten raw, but if you combine a sweet apple with a more tart apple, like a Granny Smith, they’ll do well in a baked good to add flavor and interest!
For baking apples:
Firm, sour apples are best when used in a dish that gets cooked and combined with other ingredients, like sugar and spices. The apples you might find for the following recipes could include:
- Granny Smith
- Pink lady
- And Jonathan or Jonagold, my favorite
For the Simple Apple Crisp:
- 4-6 baking apples
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon—divided
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar—divided
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 generous cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons softened or melted unsalted butter with a pinch of salt or salted butter
- Preheat oven to 375° F and butter a medium sized baking dish. You can use a 6”-8” ramekin, 8” pan or a small pie pan.
- Peel and cut the apples into thick slices. Combine with lemon juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a heaping tablespoon sugar. Then add to the pan.
- In a new bowl, mix the brown sugar, remaining granulated sugar, oats, flour, butter, salt (optional) and remaining cinnamon. Make sure everything is well coated with butter and feel free to add other spices as you like. I added allspice and nutmeg.
- Cover the apples with the topping and then bake for 40-60 minutes. Your crisp may be done earlier or later depending on your oven temperature, the shape of your baking dish and your apples. This goes great with some vanilla ice cream or just on its own!
Yields about 4 servings.