A few nights of the week after I get all spicy at Attar I close up for a local cafe. The other day my dear sweet papa came in to enjoy a piece of pie and mentioned to me that my 17 year old brother, Gaelan, has been wishing to learn to make pie. He also said that there was a surplus of apples sitting on his kitchen table if I got in the mood, and of course I did! I love pie and I will make one on occasion but I typically lean towards making crisp. To me, crisp satisfies the same craving as pie only it is much simpler and quicker to make. So, I agreed to teach Gaelan how to make crisp.
Gaelan prefers to eat vegan food, but stated an aversion to margarine. So, we decided to divide the recipe into two batches. In one we experimented with coconut oil to replace the butter. I didn’t bother to photograph that batch because, while it was tasty, it wasn’t ideal. I’m pretty particular about my apple crisp and I do feel like butter is the way to go. Gaelan didn’t seem to be bothered and took the vegan crisp to share with his friends.
The apples that my papa gave us were an unknown variety. I always use McIntosh apples for baking. They are just the perfect amount of tartness and they become very soft. The apples we used where a little sweeter and and more firm. The crisp was quite good but it wasn’t MY crisp. I think macs are your best bet.
12-15 McIntosh Apples
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 1/3 cup of all unrefined coarse sugar. (it is possible to use regular granulated white sugar instead but the coarse sugar makes for extra crispy crisp)
1 stick of cold butter
1 1/2 tsp Saigon cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and core the apples and cut into 1-2 inch chunks. You don’t need to be super careful about the size and shape of the pieces because they will cook down.
In a mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients. chop the stick of butter into small pieces and use your hands to knead and roll them into the dry ingredients. When it is mixed properly there shouldn’t be any obvious butter pieces and you should be able to form a ball by squeezing it. Fill up a glass baking dish with the cut apples. I used a 9 x 12 inch rectangular Pyrex dish and filled it right up. Cover the apples with the topping mixture, squeezing with your fingers to create a little clusters.
Bake for approximately an hour. My oven seems to take little longer so you may want to start with 45 minutes and check it. It should be golden brown and….well…crispy on top! Serve it with vanilla bean or ginger iced cream for an extra special treat. YUM!!
I’m planning on making crisp again for my first Thanksgiving with my significant other’s family. I’m so excited!