I bought some mediocre apples the other day, and beyond feeding them to the dogs as treats, I needed something to do with the other two pounds. Apple crisp came to mind – add enough butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, and even mediocre apples can shine. I wish I had a bit of apple cider because the wasn’t a lot of juice in these, so the crisp was a little dry, despite a stick of butter.
I toyed with going to the local open space apple orchard to grab some (free) apples, but I think I might be too late this year, and they’ve been cleaned out. It’s become a very popular place for apple picking.
Since I discovered using a cast-iron skillet for making apple crisp, that’s been my go-to. Sometimes I bake it in the skillet, but most of the time, I move it to a glass baking dish because mine has a great cover for the leftovers.
Cast Iron Apple Crisp
- 2 lbs apples – mix of sweet and tart (about 3 apples)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to taste
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (more as desired)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup flour
- apple pie or pumpkin spice mix (optional – I use a lot of it)
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.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
In mixing bowl, stir together butter, sugar, flour, and oats, and mix until crumbly. Crumble over the apple mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes, just until the top is crispy golden brown. Let cool for 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 undercooking 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.
So about that apple cider – it’s on my shopping list so I can make a new recipe: Mini Apple Cider Donut Muffins. That recipe should be up later this week as long as it doesn’t need too many tweaks.