Apple Crumble

Had a couple of cooler days so I swung into Autumn cooking. Fooled around with recipes in September & October 2019 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. I don’t make desserts on a regular basis. You’ll only find desserts at the table when we’re entertaining. Jim has a “sweet tooth” and I have an issue with a small frame that will proudly display any and every ounce of desserts I eat.

Lots of things one can do with apples: Baked, Brown Betty, Buckle, Cobbler, Crisp, Slump/Grunt, Pandowdy, Sonker, and Pie. Just to name a few. I only make Apple Tarts and Crumble. However, the weather was rainy and sky was dark so the kitchen was where I wanted to be. I was also tired of hauling brush to the Municipal Land Fill. I’m so scraped, bloodied, and bruised I don’t even know how my body’s holding me together. The kitchen is hardly a safe haven but it was providing a safe place when matched against the “Great Outdoors.” Used the recipe from Cooks Illustrated and while the apple filling was OK the streusel was magnificent, perfect in every way. Easy to make, fat to savory, to sweet was perfectly balanced. The texture was spot on, not too gooey and not too dry.

The streusel is now my go to topping for apples, peaches, pears, and any other fruit crossing my path.

Ingredients:

4 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, chopped fine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water

Method:

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lowest positions and heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and cinnamon together in large bowl. Transfer to 8-inch square baking pan with at least 2-inch sides and press into even layer. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and place on rimmed baking sheet. Transfer sheet to oven and bake on lower rack for 35 minutes.

2. While apples bake, whisk flour, almonds, remaining ½ cup sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in medium bowl until combined. Add melted butter, vanilla, and water and stir with spatula until clumps form and no dry flour remains.

3. Remove sheet from oven and smooth top of apples with spatula. If apples have not collapsed enough to leave at least ¼ inch of space below rim of pan, replace foil, return sheet to oven, and continue to bake 5 to 15 minutes longer.

4. Scatter topping evenly over apples, breaking up any clumps larger than a marble. Transfer sheet to upper rack and bake until topping is evenly browned and filling is just bubbling at edges, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for at least 45 minutes before serving.

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