Monday, October 31, 2011

Apple Crisp and Applesauce

Eating apple crisp is like tasting fall in a dish.  And as if it's not good enough on its own, this concoction melts over vanilla ice cream into a mound of deliciousness.  I don't remember where this recipe came from originally, but my parents used to make it every fall with the apples we picked together from a local orchard.  It works great with the windfalls that are donated to the co-op from local farms.

Apple Crisp
Serves 6

5-1/2 cups cooking apples, peeled and sliced (I like to cut the apple in half, remove the core, then slice into half-rings)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup pecans, chopped (optional; you could also try using walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place apples in an 8- by 10-inch casserole dish; add water.  Combine next six ingredients (through flour).  Cut in butter with pastry blender.  Stir in nuts, if desired.  Spoon mixture evenly over apples.  Cover; bake 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake 30 minutes longer.  Serve warm alone or with vanilla ice cream.


If you still have apples left over, homemade applesauce is another delicious, easy way to use them up.  My friend Stephanie and I made some a couple weeks ago, and it turned out great!  I don't have exact measurements; just use as many apples as you want and season to taste.

Homemade Applesauce

Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
1/2 to 3/4 cup water, apple juice, or cider

Place prepared apples in a large soup pot or dutch oven; add enough liquid so that the bottom of pot is covered.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally.  Apples will slowly break down and release a delicious aroma! :)  Continue to cook until applesauce has reached the desired consistency--longer for smooth sauce, shorter if you like it chunky.  This takes about 45 minutes to an hour.  Add cinnamon to taste.  If you like your applesauce very smooth, you can use a potato masher, strainer, or food processor to remove any remaining lumps.  Serve warm or cold; freezes well.

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