While not “officially” fall on the calendar, it is September! So as far as I am concerned it is Fall, my absolutely favorite season of the year! I love to decorate my family room and kitchen with fall colors, pumpkins, and scarecrows. I have spicy pumpkin candles burning most all the time. And strange as you may think it is, I have a fall tree. No, I don’t decorate a tree for every holiday, but I LOVE my fall tree.
I saw the idea in a store (Trees & Trends) in Bowling Green, KY probably five or so years ago. I thought it was so cute, so I use my Christmas tree with clear lights as the base. Then I stuff it as full as I can with pumpkins, scarecrows, sunflowers, leaves, & plaques.
So now that the evenings are getting cooler, I decided it was time to make my first “fall food”. When you think of fall, what do you think of? I think of soups & chili, pumpkin, popcorn balls, caramel corn, and of course APPLES! I love plain apples, caramel apples, apple pie, apple bread, apple butter muffins, apple fritters, and on today’s menu “Apple Crisp”!
I have always used the same apple crisp recipe that I have had for the last 25 years. I’ve always thought of apple crisp as being good, but nothing spectacular. That is until now! As I was planning to make apple crisp for a treat tonight, I opened my email this morning to find a recipe from “America’s Test Kitchen” which happens to be my new absolutely favorite cooking show! They had a recipe for “Skillet Apple Crisp”. Since I have come to really trust their opinions on what is the best of various recipes, I decided to try their recipe. Wow, it was the best! Reducing the apple juice (I didn’t have any cider), really gave a more intense apple flavor to the apples. Baking for a shorter time at a higher temperature made the texture of the topping more crisp and evenly cooked. This is one of my new “go to” recipes for family and company treats in the fall!
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped fine (optional)
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
- 3 pounds apples (about 7 medium), peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges, Golden Delicious, Fuji
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup apple cider (I used apple juice)
- 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, pecans (if using), oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Stir in butter until mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside while preparing fruit filling.
Toss apples, sugar, and cinnamon together in large bowl; set aside.
Bring cider or (apple juice) to simmer in 12-inch oven safe skillet over medium heat, cooking until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.
Transfer reduced cider/juice to bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice and set aside.
Heat butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat.
When foaming subsides, add apple mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until apples begin to soften and become translucent, 12 to 14 minutes. (Do not fully cook apples.)
Remove pan from heat and gently stir in cider mixture until apples are coated.
Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit, breaking up any large chunks.
Place skillet in oven and bake until fruit is tender and topping is deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool on wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes, and serve plain or with vanilla ice cream.