Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce
Zach went to one of many organic markets in our area and came back with apples, which normally August would choose not to eat. However, she ate all of the dessert served to her this evening, even with Fuji apples from Yakima. This simple recipe with a scoop of Straus Family Creamery ice cream will surely delight all who try it.
Makes 8-10 servings
• For the apple crisp:
8 medium sized Fuji apples
1 1/2 cups of packed brown sugar
1 cup of all-purpose flour plus 2 tbs.
1 cup of whole oats, not quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup of white sugar
2/3 cup of softened salted butter
2 tbs. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
2 tsp. of Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract, divided
1/2 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash, peel, and core apples.
Cut into about 1-inch pieces. Stir together 2 tbs. of flour with white sugar in a large bowl, then toss in and combine with apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, only 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Stir well until coated evenly.
Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with a Kitchenaid stand mixer until crumbly and about the size of small pebbles or peas. It will take only a few minutes to mix, so try to avoid overmixing or else it will become tough in texture.
Layer and pack half of the apples in one of two Pyrex glass baking dishes sprayed with non-stick spray.
Lightly fill in the voided areas between the apples on top with the crumble mix. Very gently pack in place, then add another layer of crumble. Use your fingers to break and evenly distribute the crumble; the goal is not to pack down the second layer, but to build height and ridges.
Bake for 45-50 minutes on a sheet pan until crumble is golden brown. The apples will be tender.
If you choose to let it cool before serving, don’t be surprised when it deflates. We waited because we didn’t want the ice cream to melt within seconds.
• For the caramel sauce:
1 1/2 cups of Straus Family Creamery organic heavy cream
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
2/3 cup of water
1 tsp. of Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract
Combine water and sugar in a heavy, thick-bottom saucepan. Heat on medium-high for 7-9 minutes until you achieve a medium to medium-dark amber color.
Do not stir during these 7-9 minutes.
Stirring constantly now, slowly add the heavy cream and vanilla extract.
Cook for 4-5 minutes until the hardened caramel is smooth and dissolved, and the sauce starts to thicken.
This is the finished sauce. It will thicken more as it cools, but if you are going to transfer it to a glass bowl like Chef Zach did (see above), wait a bit so that you don’t shock the glass and crack it. If you want an extra thick caramel sauce, you can put it in the refrigerator.
Layer apple crisp, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce. The Arakawa Pottery makes the dessert all the more pretty. Locally sourced ingredients and dinnerware help us to honor Earth Day.