Enjoy the homey flavors and aroma of baked apple pie in less than 30 minutes. You won’t miss the traditional flaky crust too much once you taste the crunchy-gritty toasted cornmeal streusel on warm, spicy apples.
I know, I know…you were expecting all the juicy details of my trip to San Francisco two weeks late and all I can offer you today is pie. Oh, and it’s not even a real pie, it’s a crisp! A crumble! I’ve been a horrible updater of this site, I’m so sorry. Worrisome exhaustion >> Blog, in the grand scheme of things. I will make it up to you…
After being away for more than a month, I sorely missed the local farmers markets. I’m one of those weird gals who enjoy shopping for fruits and vegetables…must be the old-lady streak kicking. Haha. Last Saturday’s excursion was no exception from my market black book, I filled up the baskets with my hoarding eyes. I picked up six Fall apples, the Okanagan Fuji ones, which are were so sweet and crisp. All of them ended up being cooked and baked. Mmm…
Since I am not 100% physically well these days, I usually choose the path to anything that requires less of my time and energy. I really wanted an apple pie a few nights ago, but with an extra trip to the store to get vodka (Oh, that? I still have to tell you about that crust!) for the crust, that’s not going to happen. I stared lovingly at the Fuji apples and thought of what to do with them besides eating them as is. I didn’t dare search Gourmet.com because thinking about the demise of the magazine still brings me physical pain. So I decided to make use of my online membership to dear old Cook’s Illustrated. There was a recipe for Quick Dutch Apple Crisp, which inspired that night of experimentation.
After making Peach Crumble for years and being left with delicious, yet unsatisfying, toppings that become soggy and unappetizing as leftovers, I was hesitant to try another fruit variation. But what can you do? If you have a craving, you must give in to The Craving! I was not disappointed. Cooking the fruit and the streusel separately was a godsend, and the cornmeal in the streusel made it a perfect contrast to the soft apples. Oh…my…god. This is why I always have cornmeal in the pantry: it’s not just for cornbread or coating. Amen.
So here, ladies and gentlemen, is the quickie apple pie that will satisfy your cravings in a jiffy. Go back here and tell me it’s awful if you try it and you’re not satisfied. I just know you’ll thank me once you taste it. :-)
- 3 medium-sized apples, peeled, quartered, chopped into ¼ x ½ x ½ -inch chunks and fills about 5 cups. Use what you have on hand or your preferred variety. (I used Okanagan Fuji apples.)
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- pinch kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon triple sec liqueur (optional)
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Place the rack in the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
2. For the apple filling
- Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl, and toss the apple chunks in it.
- Melt butter over high heat on a Dutch oven until it begins to turn amber in color and the milky froth from the butter has almost cleared (don’t allow it to burn).
- Add the apples into the pot and reduce heat to medium-high. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the cranberries and stir. Cover for another 5 minutes or until the apples begin to soften and break down in the steam. Juice will collect on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from the heat and pour over a strainer with a large bowl underneath to catch the juice.
- Pour the juice back into the Dutch oven over high heat and mix it with heavy cream and triple sec liqueur (if used). Stir until the mixture is reduced and thickened. It’s done when you drag your wooden spoon on the bottom of the pan and it leaves a trailing line. Turn off the heat and toss the apples and cranberries in it.
- Transfer the fruits and any remaining liquid into an 8-inch square, or circular, baking dish and flatten the top with a spatula. For individual servings, you can pour them into ramekins or other oven-safe bowls.
3. For the crumble/streusel topping:
- Mix flour, brown sugar and cornmeal in a medium bowl with a fork. Drizzle melted butter while continuing to mix it until it forms pea-sized chunks.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the streusel mixture evenly on top of it.
- Bake it in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes. Watch closely once you hit the 4-min mark. It might start to burn depending on your baking sheet.
- Take it out of the oven and set aside to cool on a trivet for 5 minutes. Toss the crumble around with a small spoon to prevent it from burning if it is already getting dark.
- Sprinkle topping over the dish/ramekins/bowls filled with fruit.
You can skip to #5, as the fruit and toppings should be good to go. Continue with #4 if you prefer the streusel to be deep brown and/or want to warm up the dish.
4. Set the pie plate/ramekins/bowls on the now-empty baking sheet and place in the oven until the streusel is a deep golden brown, about 5 minutes.
5. Cool pie plate/ramekins/bowls on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve apple crumble warm, preferably with vanilla ice cream on top, paired with a warm cup of coffee or tea.
You might also want to check out other food bloggers’ recipes:
- Alice’s Cranberry Apple Crisp Recipe or 10-minute Apple Crisp — that girl knows her desserts, and knows how to dessert. That’s right, I just used the word as a verb. :p
- Kalyn’s Low-Sugar Pumpkin and Apple Crumble — Pumpkin? Who would have thought? I love it already.
- Shaheen’s Crispy Apple Crumble with walnuts. I’m making a note here to try adding nuts next time I make a crumble.
- Annemarie, on the other hand, uses almonds and ameretto in her Apple and Almond Crumble. She’s not shy about putting 1/4 cup of liquor in her fruit mix. Adult crisp it is!
- Haalo’s Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with stewed rhubarb! and shredded coconut! makes me want to take a moment of silence to pause and ponder at the wonderfulness of it.
- Helene’s Crystallized Ginger Apple Crumble had me at ginger.