Saturday, April 9, 2011

No Frills Apple Crumble (sans recipe!)

Hello darling blog friends!

The other night, my mom and I were hanging out and we were both craving some serious dessert.  We had plenty of ingredients in the house to use, but my eyes automatically went to the four Golden Delicious apples that were sitting in a bowl on the counter.  I can always turn those babies into something yummy - I mean, come on, they're so sweet and crisp - what's not to like?  My only issue was that I didn't have a recipe to modify to my tastes.  After hemming and hawing over whether or not to go look up some random recipe, I decided I could make one up on the spot that was just as good.  Ladies and gentlemen, it was then officially time to improvise. 

So I peeled them and cut the cheeks from the core (just like I would with a mango to avoid the pit).  I used to slice straight through the core and then cut it away from each piece of apple, but I find that takes much  more effort and as you all know, I am a minimal effort, no frills kind of girl.  I cannot be bothered with that extra step.  Peeling apples is almost too much for me as it is, I find it deeply angravating (yes friends, this is my newest favorite word smash - something the man is absolutely obsessed with doing - it's angry and aggravated slammed together into one mega-word. LOVE).

Okay, apples are peeled, cut away from the core, and diced up.  I throw them in a bowl with the juice of one lemon and toss them around.  Yes, even the no frills girl does this step - as Alton Brown would say, brown apples are not good eats, whether you're covering them with crumbly deliciousness and baking them or not.  Then, I toss in some brown sugar (I used dark the first time and light the second time, I didn't taste a difference so use what you've got), pumpkin pie spice, cloves (which I love and was not included in my specific brand of pumpkin pie spice) and some flour to ensure that my apple crumble got all gooey in the middle.  Take it from me, the flour is the one step here that you do not want to forget.  I forgot last time and it was all runny and good for nothing except drizzling over vanilla ice cream... which now that I think about it, wasn't all that bad to eat.  However, this time I wanted apple crumble, not gooey apple drizzle (if you happen to want the gooey apple drizzle, leave out the flour in the recipe below.  Like I said, awfully good over vanilla bean ice cream).  I stirred a bit and then threw in a couple handfuls of dried cranberries that I had hiding in a cabinet.  Stir again and dump into a gorgeous Temptations baking dish from QVC - check it out:

Love it.  Seriously, they're my baking dishes of choice - I reach for them every time I'm sticking something in the oven and honestly, I haven't found anything that sticks to them yet.  Go.  It's worth it, I promise.

Time for crumbly goodness to go on top.  I threw half a stick of butter in a bowl with some more brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and flour, but I needed something with some texture so I immediately rummaged in the pantry for the container of rolled oats and threw half a cup of those in there too.  I started to mix it all together with a fork, decided it was taking far too long and just mushed it all together with my hands and then crumbled it as evenly as my patience would allow over the top of the apples.

Once in the oven, my crumbly goodness looked like this:

Super cute.  425 degrees for 15 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are bubbling happily.

It was SO GOOD.  My mom and I were beyond happy with my lack of a recipe and about half an hour later, this is what was left:

Deciding to cook this way might have been the best idea I ever had.

No Frills Apple Crumble

For the filling:

4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup of dried cranberries

For the topping:

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Place the diced apples in a bowl and coat with the lemon juice.  Add the rest of the ingredients for the filling and stir until the flour is completely mixed in.  Pour into a buttered baking dish.  Mix all of the topping ingredients together in a bowl with a fork or your fingers and crumble evenly over the top of the filling.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling at the edges. 


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