Wednesday, September 22, 2010

pear and apple crisp I liked

I have to say something that might shock you. I don't really like apple crisp. I don't like how the underside of the topping gets wet and gummy, and the apples cook down so far that you don't even really have any apples left when it's done baking, you just have a thin film of apple sauce kind of, covered in sort of soggy topping.

But see, we had three apples and two pears from the CSA malingering on the counter, and I didn't want to wait for pie crust to chill. Well frankly, I didn't want to spend time making a pie crust. So my hand was forced. But I thought of a way to maybe make it so that I would enjoy it. And it worked!

This made 4 servings. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

1. peel and cut the apples and pears in BIG chunks, like 1 inch pieces (so it doesn't cook down into applesauce! One problem solved).

2. toss them with cinnamon and sugar and a pinch of salt and put them in a very small baking dish, mine was 4 cup capacity for 5 apples/pears... basically, what you want to do is FILL the baking dish to the top with fruit (this too helps with avoiding the applesauce problem - greater fruit to topping ratio).

3. then make the topping: melt 6 tbsp. butter, mix in thoroughly 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut* (this is how I made it good, i.e. not gummy! shredded coconut instead of flour!), a heaping 1/2 cup oatmeal, and about 1/4 cup brown sugar.

4. mash this topping down onto the apples, packing it onto the fruit to make a smooth top.

5. put it in the 400 degree oven (I put it on a piece of aluminum foil, on a baking sheet, because once the apples get nice and hot they'll get really juicy, and boil over onto the bottom of your oven and SCORCH) for about 10 minutes, and then turned it down to 350, for another... I don't know how long - maybe another 20 or 30 minutes? When the topping was golden brown, and the juices were all bubbly I took it out.

6. Axel F got some vanilla ice cream to put on top, because there really is no substitute for putting vanilla ice cream on apple crisp, especially when it's actually good and crispy apple (and pear) crisp with crunchy almonds and toasty, brown sugary, buttery coconut. Thanks again to him for these quality photos, especially considering the surpassingly poor quality of our camera and lighting situation.*don't skimp and use sweetened flake coconut, that stuff is gross and doesn't really taste like coconut. The unsweetened flake coconut, like this, is totally different, and worth a trip to Whole Foods for. It actually has a very fine texture - tiny little flakes, rather than being big thick ribbons, so it's an excellent flour substitute in this situation.

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