Hello, again–this time from my warm, cozy kitchen. We had a fabulous time in Maui and I came back back refreshed, energized and wanting to cook up a storm. Believe it or not, I missed blogging and writing about food. I suppose this is a strong sign that I’m quite enjoying this hobby despite being surrounded by the beautiful warm waters of the Pacific Ocean all week. In short, I missed you guys!
Consequently, I’ve spent most of my time in the kitchen today, happily baking, tasting, photographing and now of course, blogging all about it. I’ve made three dishes in the last 24 hours and I don’t want to stop! Could it be the endorphins from this morning’s workout or is it my second round of black tea today? Either way, I’m very happy to be home and cooking.
So far I’ve made chicken stew and an appetizer (will post these soon) but I also wanted something warm from the oven. The inspiration came from the few pounds of Fuji apples I had in the refrigerator. Apparently, our house sitter (brother-in-law) doesn’t enjoy apples as much as we do and we left him with more than he could eat in a week. I also wanted something simple (you know, reward without the labor) and not too rich like cake or pie. The answer: Apple Crisp.
It took no time to find a recipe on the web that wouldn’t require me to go to the store so I had a winner! The original recipe called for making one batch of the crisp in a baking dish but I decided to make individual portions in my little red ramekins–my way of exercising portion control. I also halved the recipe I found, made my adjustments accordingly and I was very pleased with the results.
The crunchy oat topping went perfectly with the warm, spiced and slightly sweet apples. I scaled down the sugar and compensated by upping the spice proportions, adding allspice and nutmeg to the cinnamon. Not too sweet, not too buttery. Instead, the oat topping is almost delicate, adding just the right amount of crunch and the apple’s natural sweetness is what hits your taste buds, not the sugar. My husband is not wont to call anything perfect but he declared these so after one bite.
The only imperfection was my timing in taking pictures of these little crisps. I let them rest a little before photographing them not realizing that the filling would settle so much. You can see that I filled the ramekins to the top but just a few minutes rest resulted in my individual servings dwindling to half portions. Fortunately, I wasn’t planning to serve these to company but if this were the case, topping each one with a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream would remedy the potential presentation gaffe.
Individual Apple Crisps
Adapted from Apple Crisp Recipe at marthastewart.com
Note: Please click here for the original recipe that serves 8. My scaled down version serves 5.
- 1/2 of 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I just eyeballed the measurements)
- 1/8 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- About 2/3 of 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold and cut into small cubes)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 pounds apples (I used two large Fujis), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch grated nutmeg (my addition)
- Pinch allspice (my addition)
Follow the instructions as described in the link. If you’d like to prepare the crisps in individual ramekins, here’s what I did:
1. I prepped the apples first and tossed them in the lemon juice, cinnamon, remaining sugar and also grated nutmeg and allspice. I let this sit for the flavors to blend while I prepared the rest.
2. Instead of baking in a large, shallow dish, the halved portion I prepared was enough to fill 5 ramekins. I baked them on a baking sheet at 350ºF (instead of 375ºF) with my convection on for roughly 50 minutes. Serve warm.