WINTER SPICES APPLE CRISP
Every autumn, during the apple-picking season, my mother and I plan a day trip to the countryside. We fill many bags with McIntosh, Lobos, Cortlands, etc. We then stop to harvest squash and pumpkins, looking for the ugliest and oddest ones to bring back home. We buy a bunch of soft squash cookies from their market and continue our journey to our last stop, a cheese factory in Oka where we buy and eat way too much cheese curds, so fresh and milky they make that “skouik-skouik” sound when you’re eating them.
Returning home, we crank up the oven and prepare apple crisp. We devour it on the sofa while watching a movie, still piping hot with a big scoop of melting vanilla ice cream on top. This is the only time we eat dessert for supper and, for that reason, is my favorite day.
In fact, I think it is perfectly acceptable to eat apple crisp at any time of day. Apples keep for a very long time and local varieties can be found for several months after the harvest season. It is, therefore, a perfect recipe for winter. I recommend using only one kind of apple so that they cook evenly. Cortland, Gala and Empire are my favourite varieties for making apple crisp.
WINTER SPICES APPLE CRISP
105 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
100 g (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
65 g (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts
120 g (1 1/3 cup) rolled oats
112 g (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut into 1 cm cubes
3 tbsp maple syrup
juice of one lemon
8 apples or enough to fill your baking dish
50 g (1/4 cup) dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
butter or oil to grease the baking dish
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, salt, spices, walnuts, and oats. Add the butter and maple syrup and, using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, mix all the ingredients until you get a crumbly texture.
In another bowl, place the lemon juice and, one by one, peel, remove the cores and cut the apples into slices of about 1 cm. Gently toss to coat them with the lemon juice after each one to prevent browning. Stir in remaining ingredients for the apple filling.
To assemble, transfer the apple mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle the crumble evenly over it. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the crumble is nicely golden. Allow to cool down for 15 minutes before serving.
TIPS AND TRICKS
The crumble can be prepared the day before and kept in the refrigerator. You can also make a double recipe of the crumble and place half in the freezer for up to 3 months to add on top of muffins, pies or to make another fruit crumble in a pinch.
You can use all-purpose flour, but feel free to replace some or all of it with whole wheat, rye or gluten-free flour. In this version, I chose walnuts, but it would also be delicious with almonds or pecans. You can use canola or vegetable oil instead of butter if you don’t consume dairy products. You can change some of the apples for pears or even blueberries, raspberries or blackberries.
Hi! I’m Steph. Originally from Montréal, I moved to Toronto in 2015. I spend my days working at the most quaint Swedish coffee shop making cinnamon buns and adding cardamom to everything I bake. In this blog, I want to share with you recipes that remind me of home, travel stories filled with new food discoveries and the restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries I love to visit most in my new city.
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