Crumbles have to be one of my favorite desserts, because it is all about giving fruit the center of attention. And the better the fruit you use, the better your dessert. So in the case of apples, stay clear of those overgrown, bland varieties and discover the delights of their smaller, tastier, organic relatives. There are over 2,500 varieties grown in the U.S. so you have plenty to choose from!
This recipe works wonderfully with any type of apple but is best when you combine two or three different kinds of apples with varying flavors and levels of acidity and sweetness. It also leaves the skin of the apples on, as the skin contains two-thirds of the fiber of an apple as well as many antioxidants, and with organic apples you obviously don’t have to worry about pesticide residues on the skin. The Good Earth Market has organic Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady and Pinova apples that you might want to try. The tangy yet buttery Pinovas make for a nice change and are currently on sale as well for $1.69/lb.
Warm Apple (Oat) Crumble
5-6 mixed organic apples
2 tbsp butter
2-3 tsp brown sugar (depending on the sweetness of your apples)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 shotglass (or a slosh) of bourbon
1 small glass of water
6 tbsp butter
1/2 C organic cane sugar
1/2 C flour
1 C plain oats
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the 2 tbsp butter with the brown sugar on low heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan while you chop the apples. Cut off the butter for the topping now and leave it out on the counter to soften. The quick and easy way to chop the apples is to stand the apple up and cut just next to the core on all four sides, then lay each of these pieces flat and cut lengthwise into slices about 1/4″ thick. Add the apple slices to the pan and toss them to coat them in the butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon over them evenly and stir, then turn the heat up to medium. Let them cook for about 5 minutes while the temperature rises in the pan, then pour the bourbon over them. Cook another few minutes to burn the alcohol off, then add just enough water to have an inch or so in the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to between low and medium, cover and let simmer for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the apples are soft and some of them have started to break down.
When the apples are getting close to being done, add all the ingredients for the topping to a bowl, then roll up your sleeves and smoosh them together with your fingertips until they combine and make the classic ‘crumbs’ of a crumble. Grease a pie dish, then put the cooked apples in it and top evenly with the crumble mixture. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the crumble on top is browning and nice and crunchy. Serve with cream, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.