Monday, August 11, 2008

The Start of Apple Season

Although the true days of fall are still far off, in this area we start apple season in August with the Gravenstein apple. It is an old variety and doesn't store at all. A few days, maybe a week, then they begin to turn to mush.

The good news is that they are tart, delicious, and make wonderful baked apple dished since they get nice and almost gooey when they are cooked. Apple pies made with them are wonderful. Apple sauce is superb. For a very quick treat, an apple crisp made with Gravensteins can't be beat.

Although you certainly can make this dish with peeled apples, I left on the peel for ease of preparation (my focus was on the trim in the dining room that I was giving a fresh coat of paint, so time was at a premium), and because it keeps a lot of the nutrients in the dish. The maple syrup added sweetness in a mellow way, and the crisp benefited from the old fashioned rolled oats that I used. That kind seem to get crisper when baked than the quick cooking kind of oatmeal. Butter, raw brown sugar, flour and some cinnamon and allspice are the easy ingredients that combine with the oats for the topping. Try it topped with some vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. It's a late summer delight. Glad that apple season has begun.


Gravenstein Apple Crisp
serves 4-6

4 cups sliced apple - Gravensteins preferred, but any tart cooking apple will work
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, cold
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup raw brown sugar, or light brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/8 teaspoon allspice

In a shallow cast iron skilled or shallow baking pan, mix the apples, syrup and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread the fruit out in the pan.

In a medium bowl, place the butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces, the flour, brown sugar, and oats. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon and the allspice over all. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the remaining ingredients until well mixed. If you prefer, you can use you hands, although the results will be clumpier.

Distribute the crisp mixture over the fruit and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-20 minutes or until the fruit is cooked and juices bubble and the topping is golden brown and crisp.

Serve warm or cold. This dish is great with the addition of a scoop of ice cream, or frozen yogurt.

11 comments:

Peabody said...

I am so ready for Fall apples and some apple crisps.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Gravensteins are tasty. My personal favorites are Jonathans, but they have such a short shelf life that I think they've gone out of favor with growers. Your crisp looks like a delightful way to capture the best flavor of the apples.

Deborah said...

I'm so excited for apple season to come along! They are probably my favorite fruit to bake with. I've never had this kind of apple before, but this dessert looks wonderful.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have never tried an apple crisp, Elle, but this would make me so glad right now, I know. I also love keeping the peel - it adds extra crunch and healthy benefits!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Is it apple season already? Woo-hoo! Your dessert captures the flavors of fall deliciously.

breadchick said...

Oh I noticed them in our farmer's market this past weekend too!

I'm so ready for fall fruit.

DaviMack said...

Oooh, gravensteins! We've tried to get the same out of bramley & some other of the local varieties ... but nothing's quite like them.

Sounds yummy!

giz said...

I'm not entirely sure what it is about apples - in any baked form that brings us back to our roots and makes us feel so good all over. This is one of my all time favourites. It's just ... well...uncomplicated and warming.

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

Christy at Southern Plate is having an apple recipe contest. You should check it out. I'm sure you've got lots more apple tricks up your sleeve...

www.southernplate.com

Cynthia said...

I had to make a quick glance at the calender as I read the title of your post... I like the idea of the crisp with the oats.

Elle said...

Peabody, I'd love to skip summer, too...guess that's why I'm glad our apples come early...seems like fall a bit that way...with 92 degrees today it takes imagination.

Cookie Baker Lynn, Sometimes we can get Jonathans at a local apple growers stand, but not usually at the grocery store.

Deborah, this works well with almost any tart apple.

Patricia, Apple crips is true comfort food...do try it. I leave on peels whenever possible...more flavor, too.

Susan, these are the earliest apples...fall is still a bit off. Plenty of peaches, nectarines and plums around, too....more summery.

Breadchick, me too.

Davimack, I'd love to try something with Bramleys...goes to show 'ya, never satisfied when there is a new taste to try.

Giz, I think you have it exactly right...a warm and comforting feeling rooted in our past...warm apple anything is like that for me.

Nikki, Thanks for the tip. I'm sure to make more apple dishes.

Cynthia, it is still summer....thes are early apples. It's just that fall is my favorite season, so I'm pushing it a little. The oats make this dish...a crisp with only butter, sugar and flour is palid by comparison.