Fall is the classic "in between" time. It bridges the gap between Summer and Winter. It is thought by many to embody the connection between this world and what lies beyond. It's also the traditional time when the bounty of harvest could be fully enjoyed before the long dark days of Winter settled in for months.
In the spirit of combining contrasts and in-betweens, here's a surprisingly easy recipe that I put my own spin on. I usually just make this by sight - without using measurements. Exact quantities aren't that important. I measured stuff this time, 'cuz I know some folks freak out when I use amounts like "some" or "a little" :)
Two great desserts that compliment each other are Apple Crisp and Ice Cream. There's a problem, though. Apple Crisp is best when it's hot, and Ice Cream melts quickly when on/near hot stuff. It makes eating the two together a challenge that usually results in the Ice Cream melting down quickly into cold milk and sugar, and the Apple Crisp getting soggy as a result.
This version of Apple Crisp addresses that issue and is scaled to individual portions. This recipe makes two individual Apple Crisps.
2 Large Apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
2 tbls butter
3 tbls brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cornstarch (or flour)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbls cold butter
Vanilla Ice Cream
You'll also need some proper bakeware for this. You'll see why in a minute. I use some small, oval shaped corning baking dishes. These are perfect for single serving sizes. You'll also need some oven save ramekins. The ramekins sole purpose is to keep a space in the larger baking dish free of apple filling - like so:
You'll also need some small metal cups that are close to the same size as the ramekins (doesn't have to be exact), like these:
I found these at Walmart, and they are graniteware. Place the metal cups in the freezer and let them get really cold.
Start with the filling. Melt the butter in a pan over low/med heat. Add the brown sugar and let it melt down, stirring. When the butter and brown sugar are melted, add the apple slices. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and toss the apples in the mixture to coat. After the mixture cooks a few minutes, sprinkle the cornstarch over all and toss some more.
Keep cooking and stirring the apple mixture until the liquid thickens and looks "syrupy". This doesn't take long. The apple slices will just be thinking about getting softer. Remove from the heat at this point.
Make the topping. Combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pinch in the butter with your fingers until the mixture is all crumbly. and the butter pieces are a little larger than pea sized. You can use a tool for this, but I prefer just to use my hands - its quicker and does a nicer job. Tools tend to make things uniform in size. You don't need or want that here.
Take your filling and put it into the baking dishes, leaving the ramekin in place. Top with the crumble topping, like so:
Place the individual crisps on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes. The crisp will be bubbly and the topping starting to brown. Remove from the oven. Take the chilled metal cups out of the freezer and fill with Ice Cream.
The ramekins should come out of the baking dishes easily with a little twist 'n lift action - but make sure you use an oven mitt 'cuz they're HOT!!. Place the cold metal cups filled with Ice Cream in the now empty space and serve. The cold cup helps prolong the life of the ice cream and make enjoying the two together less of a foot race: