Are you in need of a fast and easy yet still deliciously gratifying dessert? One that can be served with ice cream or whipped cream or anything with the word cream involved? Then you have come to the right place. Dutch Apple Crisp is a chunky apple dessert with all the normal apple pie attributes, but takes far less time and effort to make and can be transformed into a delicate-looking, entertaining-worthy dish (by the magic of a mini trifle bowl).
Although the fall harvest is behind us (evidenced by the snow blowing every which way outside my window) there is still an abundance of apples in the stores. Those apples deserve to be covered in a rich flurry of sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and pecans until they are glistening in the kind of way that makes you dip a tasting spoon out of necessity.
If that alone doesn’t tickle your apple fancy, please note the apples are covered again by an inch of crunchy streusel, to compliment their tenderness. The streusel, with its sugary-buttery nuggets makes you forget all about a pie crust . This is the type of dessert that puts standard apple pies to shame. If you won’t take my word for it, just ask the apples. They’ll tell you.
Dutch Apple Crisp
- About 4 medium Granny Smith apples
- About 3-4 Fuji, gala, or McIntosh apples
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup raisins (or golden raisins if you want to do a monochromatic scheme)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup cream (may use half and half or heavy cream)
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
For the apple filling: Peel, quarter, and core apples; dice apples into approx. 1/2″ cubes. Toss apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl to combine.
Heat butter in large stockpot (or Dutch oven) over high heat until foaming subsides, taking care not to burn. Add apple chunks and toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until apples are softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in raisins and pecans. Let the mixture cook covered once again, stirring occasionally. The Granny Smith chunks will be tender and the other apple chunks will be very softened, beginning to break down. This will take about 5 additional minutes.
Set a large colander over a large bowl so the bowl will catch the apple syrup-y juice. Pour cooked apples to colander; shake and toss apples to drain off juice. Pour juice into a small saucepan and add cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until thickened . Transfer apples to an 8-inch square baking dish and pour reduced juice mixture over, spreading evenly.
For the streusel topping: Combine flours and sugars in a medium bowl; drizzle with melted butter and toss with a fork until moistened. Mixture will resemble a streusel- large chunks and itty bitty pea-sized pieces. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread streusel in even layer on baking sheet. Bake streusel until golden brown, about 5 minutes; cool baking sheet with streusel on wire rack about 5 minutes. Sprinkle streusel evenly over apples. Set apple dish on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Streusel will be a deep golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack and serve with ice cream or cream of your choice.