We have a city apple orchard. I’ve cycled by it for years, didn’t give it much thought except to wonder what the city did with them every year. This year I found out. Seems the weather has created a bumper crop so the city put out a reminder that these apples were there for everyone, they were pesticide free and please, please, please come pick some because there were so many they were breaking branches.
We headed over and picked a few last weekend and I decided that apples would make the perfect topic for tonight’s recipe exchange. I’ve got some old favorites and some old favorites with a new twist, including tonight’s featured recipe, Caramel Apple Crisp, pictured at top.
Let’s start with one that is perfect around this time of year when mini chocolates abound, Baked Snicker Apples, recipe here.
mouth-watering is the only way to describe, Mrs. J’s Famous Apple Pie, click here.
I have bourbon, I have apples, seems I need to make some Bourbon Baked Apples, recipe here.
Totally not apple related, the weekly menu this week was Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, recipes and shopping list here.
What’s on your menu? Now that the weekend means autumn is official, what are some of your favorite fall recipes?
For tonight’s featured recipe, I wondered what would happen if I added caramels to my favorite apple crisp. It was amazing. Great flavor without being too sweet. I reduced the sugars to adjust for the caramels. I’ll do this one again:
Cast Iron Caramel Apple Crisp
- 2 lbs apples – mix of sweet and tart (about 3 apples)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- dash of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to taste
- 10 caramels, unwrapped
- 2 tbsps of cream
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup flour
10 inch cast iron skillet and small mixing bowl
Core and cut apples into small pieces (about 1/2 inch). Peeling is optional, but with this method the peels cook nice and soft, so it isn’t necessary.
Melt butter in skillet, add apples and sugar, stir until apples are well coated. Cover and cook on medium heat until apple mixture is soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally. About 20-30 minutes.
While the apples are cooking, melt the caramels and cream over medium heat, stirring until smooth. If you spray the pan with cooking oil before melting caramels, cleanup is easier. Pour over apples just before adding crumble mixture.
In mixing bowl, stir together butter, sugar, flour and oats, mix until crumbly. Crumble over the apple mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes in a 400 degree oven, just until top is crispy golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes and serve warm.
What makes this so good is that because the apples are cooked on the stovetop, you can use a much higher heat in the oven and get a good, crisp top without drying the whole mixture out or under cooking the apples. Really, this is one of the best apple crisps I’ve made.
Alternately, if you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, you can transfer the cooked apple mixture to a glass baking dish, add topping and bake that way.
No Bixby Diary this week, I’ll make up for it next week. Until then….TaMara
Wandering around the web today, someone posted a recipe for Bourbon Baked Apples. Hmmm, I have bourbon. I have apples. Guess I need to bake some Bourbon Apples, stuffed with oatmeal crumble.
Bourbon Baked Apple Crisp
- 4 large favorite apple
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon (depending on taste – you can substitute more cider if you prefer)
- vanilla ice cream
In a bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Add softened butter and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. You want it to be crumbly.
Cut the top off the apple, enough to use as a lid. Scoop out core and seeds, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the apple. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired and then stuff with the oats mixture, packing it in and covering out to the edges of the apple. Place the top of the apple back on and press down.
Place apples in a large baking dish. Pour apple cider and bourbon in the bottom of the pan. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until skin is soft and wrinkled and flesh is soft. During the baking period, baste every 10 minutes with the cider/bourbon mix.
Serve immediately with ice cream.
I had some bacon in the fridge that was getting old so I decided to cook the lot of it in the oven. I usually use maple sugar when I make this stuff but decided on brown sugar for this batch. While rummaging in the cupboard I ran across a jar of ground red pepper. The peppers grew on an “ornamental” pepper plant but they looked useful and I am loathe to throw things away. I ground them in my spice mill and put them back, waiting for a special occasion. Today I sprinkled them onto the bacon, along with ground black pepper and the sugar. You can see the tiny seeds on the bacon in the photos. This stuff is awesome. Bacon is not hard to cook in the oven, lay it out on a rack inside a baking tray. Cooking plain bacon you can get by without lining the tray with foil but this sugar coated stuff will make you wish you had the first time you forget. Or the second time. I’m slow. I set the temp at 350 for this batch, thicker bacon wants a lower temperature setting. Flip the bacon after 15 minutes and sprinkle the other side with the pepper and sugar. (Maple syrup works great on these!) The bacon will render as it cooks and will give up moisture, in the last few minutes the rashers go from not quite done to just right and you better be ready because another minute is too much. [Edit to add photo:]I mentioned that I was, um.. retentive. These are the little peppers I dried and ground and saved. In 2010.