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Oven Baked Apple Crisp with Citrus Infusion

Apple Crisp 4

Apple Crisp 3

first tried this recipe back in December and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. I’ve tasted my fair share of apple crisp but this one definitely caught my attention for a few reasons, mainly the citrus addition. The freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice acts as a marinade by infusing the fruit with depth and flavour before baking; add in the rind and you really take things to the next level with those natural citrus oils. The acidity of the citrus also encourages the apple’s natural sweetness to flourish while baking, which is a great solution to the blandness you sometimes experience with this dessert. I won’t forget to mention how the brown-sugar infused buttery topping yields the perfect amount of texture and balances well with the tender, subtly spiced apples. Although this recipe tastes best when served fresh and warm, I often find myself eating it cold right out of the fridge.

It’s important to choose the right apples when baking; for this recipe, stick to Honey Crisp or Cortland apples for best results. Although you can bake with Granny Smiths, I find they add an unwanted tartness to this recipe. Macintosh apples are watery in nature and will result in a mushy dessert (no offence, Mac).

Ingredients 

  • 5 pounds apples (about 12 apples)
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ingredients for topping 

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter (salted works as well)
  • 1 cup granola (any breakfast granola will do. I recommend an almond or maple granola from your local supermarket. Avoid boxed cereals that claim to be granola)

Instructions – Filling

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Butter a 9x14x2 baking dish
  3. Cut apples into large wedges (peeled and cored) and set aside in baking dish
  4. In a separate bowl, combine zest, juices, sugar and spices
  5. Pour mixture over apples and gently toss, so all apples are evenly coated
  6. Set aside

Instructions – Topping

  1. Combine flour, sugars, salt granola and cold butter into bowl
  2. Using a pastry cutter, mix ingredients together until the butter is in pea sized bits (keep butter cold)
  3. Scatter topping over apples in baking dish, until no apples are visible
  4. Place baking dish onto a cookie sheet to catch any drippings that may occur when baking
  5. Bake for 1 hour until top is golden brown and apples are bubbling
  6. Serve warm. Pairs well with vanilla bean ice cream
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