Sunday, October 26, 2014

brown butter apple crunch crumble.

I know nothing is more American (and more fall) than apple pie but I am here to present my case for the apple crumble (or apple crisp if you are so inclined to call it that).  

Apple pie is great.  But pie is a pain in the butt to make.  Make the crust, chill the crust, roll the crust, chill the crust again, par-bake the get the point, it's exhausting. (Though sometimes its therapeutic and other times it's a wonderfully necessary evil.)  

But! If you get rid of the crust you get rid of 90% of the work! This is why when it's a lazy rainy Sunday and I want apple deliciousness without all the work I turn to the wonders of the apple crisp to fulfill all my cravings. 

This is the apple crisp of my dreams. Layers of thinly sliced apples tossed in cinnamon and ginger (and a splash of bourbon for good measure because why not?) are nestled under a generous layer of crisp topping (without the crust you want a nice thick layer of crumble).  The crumble is dreamy - oats, walnuts, spices galore, and a little bit of maple syrup (because a little bit of maple syrup belongs in every fall dessert) are tossed with brown butter to make the most heavenly topping for that spiced sea of apples (I went crazy and incorporated 4 different varieties).  It's epic, it's fall, and it's insanely easy. What's not to love?  

Bronwn Butter Apple Crunch Crumble
Recipe adopted from the NYTimes

For the filling

2 pounds apples, peeled and thinly sliced 
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 tablespoon bourbon 

For the crumble topping

1 stick of butter 
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt.  
½ cup finely chopped walnuts (or the nuts of your choice!)

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  

Brown your butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns and the very second that you turn around to do something else.  Remove from heat and set aside

To prepare filling, toss apple with sugar, cinnamon, and bourbon.  Set aside.

To make the topping, in a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flours, sugar, maple syrup, spices and salt.  Stir in butter and nuts.  Coarse crumbs will form. 

Pour filling into a 9 inch square or round pan.  Using your fingers form mixture into ¼ inch to ½ inch crumbs and spread over fruit.  Bake until filling bubbles and topping is light golden, about 55 minutes.  Let cool slightly. 

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