|Turkey Creek Farmhouse Apple Crisp with Buttery Caramel Topping|
I mean really...who hasn't made an apple crisp? Who doesn't have their own recipe? Who doesn't have a favorite? I know very few people who don't. In my experience, most recipes are just a variation on another one. We all tweak and tamper until it turns out how we want it to be. And thus, we can call it our own.
Such is the case with my Farmhouse Apple Crisp recipe. Over the years I've taken several different recipes and eventually blended them into one that our family likes. One that fills a 9 x 13 pan, with a crisp, buttery topping that doesn't get soggy, with apples that cook but don't get mushy. One that I can tweak by using apples and pears, or apples and pears and cranberries, or...well, you get the idea. Easily adapted to the season.
I've always added a little lemon juice, but I got the idea to add freshly squeezed orange juice from Ina Garten. We all love Ina, don't we? The Barefoot Contessa. I've never made a recipe of hers I didn't like. So now I add orange juice, and orange and lemon zest. (Thanks, Ina.)
I like this recipe because it makes alot. One big serving spoonful with a drizzle of a divine, Buttery Caramel Sauce, perhaps a tad of vanilla ice cream...well...let's just say it can serve 8-12 (unless you have to beat them back when they come for seconds!).
And the Buttery Caramel Sauce...besides drizzling it on apple crisp, or apple pie, or vanilla, chocolate, or even coffee ice cream, I eat it off the spoon, or stir it into coffee and cream, or (shhhh) hide it in the back of the fridge. And sometimes I even infuse it with lavender. Love it!
The choice of apples...well, we all have our favorites. Granny Smith if you like tart and firm, Golden Delicious if you like sweet and soft...truthfully I use whatever is in the crisper. Today it was Red Delicious, Gala (our favorite), and Golden Delicious. Gala is my favorite apple for everything. In the fall I buy whatever is selling locally and try to eke it out through the winter.
Turkey Creek Farmhouse Apple Crisp
10 apples, cored, peeled and cut into slices or chunks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or mace
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the apples and sugar, flour, spices, juices and zests in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan and spread out. Make the topping.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (chopped pretty small, optional of course)
2 sticks cold butter, cubed
Combine the flour, salt, sugars, oatmeal and butter in a bowl. Cut the butter into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter, your blender, or my preference, your hands. I find a food processor makes it too fine. You want it to be coarse, not too fine. Sprinkle it over the apples, covering them completely right up to the edges of the pan.
I have never had this particular recipe bake over, but I still put the 9 x 13 on a baking pan just in case. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top starts to brown and the apple mixture is all bubbly.
Turkey Creek Farmhouse Buttery Caramel Sauce
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Now increase the heat to medium high and boil gently until it starts changing to a light caramel color. Brush down the sugar crystals with a wet pastry brush as they stick to the side of the pan. At this point do not walk away. Do not leave your sauce alone. (This is when your sauce can either a) burn, or b) cook down to sugar again.) Now gradually stir in the cream. Add the cubed butter and stir until it is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Drizzle over warm apple crisp. Store in the refrigerator. Sneak spoonfuls when no one is looking.
NOTES: Nuts in the topping are optional. The reason you chop them small is if they are too large they can get a little too toasty. And we don't want a burned nutty flavor in our topping, do we? If you like nuts, you could always stir them into the filling instead. Chopped blanched almonds are also good.
This same recipe and topping works well for: Plum Crisp, Pear Crisp, Cherry Crisp, Pear Cherry Crisp, Cherry Apple Crisp, etc. etc. Play with your food people!
Wishing you a lovely weekend and happy baking!