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Classic Apple Crisp
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With your fingers work the butter into the flour mixture until it just begins to cling together. "Work it just past the just crumbly stage," says Scott. The topping can be made in advance, store it for up to a week in the refrigerator or a month carefully wrapped and frozen. "I like to keep some on hand, then make an individual crisp using a single apple baked in a ramekin or custard cup."
- In a 4-quart bowl toss together apples and lemon juice. "I like my apples a little thicker than for a pie," Scott says. "Slice them too thin and the apples collapse and cook down to sauce." When adding lemon juice, forgo the squeezer and use your fingers to catch the seeds. "I love the efficiency and pleasure of using my hands to cook," Scott says. In a small bowl combine the 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, salt, and nutmeg. "A light grating of fresh nutmeg plays well against the acidity and sweetness of the apples." Use the lesser amount of sugar for sweeter apples, Scott says.
- Sprinkle apples with sugar-nutmeg mixture, then with your hands, mix together. Heap into a lightly buttered 2-quart baking dish. "Apples collapse a good bit during cooking, so it is important to pile them above the rim of the baking dish," says Scott. "Otherwise you can end up with a sunken crisp." Cover the top of the apples with the crumb mixture, breaking up large pieces as necessary to cover.
- Cover the crisp first with parchment, then foil. "This eliminates the chance of any 'tin can' flavor into the crisp," Scott says. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and paper from the opposite side of the pan (to keep steam away from your face and hands). Return to oven; bake 30 to 40 minutes more or until top is golden and apples are just tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. To ensure the flour in filling is cooked, bake until thickened juices bubble from the fruit. Let cool 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Serve with whipping cream or Scott's Rich Custard Sauce. Makes 10 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
To grind your own cinnamon, place a 1-1/2-inch section of stick cinnamon in a spice mill or a coffee grinder set aside just for spices; grind to a fine powder.
Grate nutmeg with a nutmeg grater (find at kitchenware shops and some supermarkets).
Rich Custard Sauce
- Heat milk and vanilla bean, twisted to bruise and release essence, but not split, in a medium-sized nonreactive saucepan to just below the boiling point. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes to allow the vanilla bean to infuse the milk.
- While the milk is seeping, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Remove the vanilla bean, and slowly whisk the hot milk into the sugar-and-egg-yolk mixture. transfer back tot he saucepan, and return the pan to the stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of the spoon. At no time should the custard reach a simmer or boil. Remove form the heat, and stir in the heavy cream. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer, and stir in vanilla extract and salt. Cool slightly; cover and chill.
Nutrition Facts (Classic Apple Crisp)
- Per serving:
- 368 kcal cal.,
- 13 g fat
- (8 g sat. fat,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 3 g monounsatured fat),
- 33 mg chol.,
- 237 mg sodium,
- 64 g carb.,
- 2 g fiber,
- 46 g sugar,
- 2 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet