I wish this photo wasn’t blurry.
These are the apples I’ve been enjoying from the Out on a Limb CSA. When you last heard from me on the apple CSA topic, I was feeling moderately to extremely irate about how they signed up my husband instead of me. They since wrote me a really nice email apologizing, and explaining how it happened, and when I went to pick up my last share, my name was on the list, and it was all very nicely handled and I get to go back to feeling awesome and happy about the apples.
The apples are great! They have a one-page little fact sheet, with information about the apples and their origins, and the apples are all packaged and labeled so you don’t get confused re: which is which, and I love it.
In addition to the applesauce extravaganza, I also recently made apple crisp with the CSA apples when my little brother was staying over. My little brother and I are weirdly similar on a number of fronts (except for some obvious age/gender related differences), and particularly when it comes to our feelings about dessert. For instance:
Pie > Cake
Ice Cream > Most Things
Apple Crisp = Dessert AND Apple Crisp = Breakfast
Unfortunately, the apple crisp was not as awesomely good as I wanted it to be. The apples sort of disintegrated when I was cooking. My brother suggested that if I had left the peels on, that might have helped things stay together, and he’s probably right, but I think I also used a disintegrating apple variety rather than a not-disintegrating apple variety.* It was still fine though, because even a not-great crisp is better than no crisp.
The next morning I packed my brother off to school without having the crisp for breakfast, because it seemed like giving your brother crisp for breakfast and nothing else and then sending him to school is not the kind of thing a responsible adult does. I mean, he has a long wait between breakfast and lunch, and I wanted to make sure he had a decent meal. However, when I had crisp for lunch, the fridge had made it amazing, and I regretted that my brother didn’t get to enjoy the less-disappointing version of the crisp. During its cold overnight sojourn, the bottom layer had solidified a bit, and also blended more fully with the bottom edge of the crisp topping into a lovely buttery topping/apple mix. It was super good.
Crisp is pretty straightforward. I used Mark Bittman’s recipe (the link is from his Minimalist column in the New York Times, but it’s the same as the one in his How To Cook Everything cookbook):
Mark Bittman’s Apple Crisp Recipe
- 6 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples or ripe pears, 2 to 3 pounds (You could try not peeling, too)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste (Sometimes I use cardamom and a little bit of ginger)
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 5 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (I like these to be very well chopped)
- 1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss fruit with half the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar, and spread it in a lightly buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan.
- 2. Combine remaining cinnamon and sugar in container of a food processor with butter, oats and nuts; pulse a few times, just until ingredients are combined. (Do not purée.) To mix ingredients by hand, soften butter slightly, toss together dry ingredients and work butter in with fingertips, a pastry blender or a fork.
- 3. Spread topping over apples, and bake about 40 minutes, until topping is browned and apples are tender. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
- Domesticait has a more exciting/easier crisp recipe, that also involves decorative apples, which I love.** It reminds me of the little leaves you can make out of extra pie crust and put on top of your pumpkin pie and look all fancy (I have never actually done this, but magazines are constantly telling me that I could if I were a better, more magazine-like person).
- * Apples vary widely in the extent to which they fall apart when heated. In theory, I could remember which hold together well and which fall apart and make my apple purchasing choices based on that, but in reality there is only so much that can be stored in my head, and that just doesn’t make the short list. Or the medium list.
- ** I also give my coworkers homemade valentines, which is hard to do and still maintain an appropriately professional veneer, but whatever. I’m just saying I’m not one to judge an apple heart.