Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall means apples and apple desserts right?

Apple Crisp - 578 Washington St #3, Brighton, MA
     The phrase "One man's trash is another man's treasure" definitely applies to my head at least. Dave's bag of apples were going, and I was not happy about it. The poor things sat there pouring out of the bag as if on some display, but were covered in bruises. The thought of throwing them away killed me though. So naturally, I wanted to get my creative juices flowing to make something with their creative juices. Less creative, more juice. Initially I was going to make apple pie, but I wanted to make it different somehow. I started looking up recipes and thought maybe some type of pie with granola could be good. Instead of pie, I found one from Food and Wine magazine for apple crisp that sounded pretty good. However, I altered a lot of it, so see the * below. Here goes!

Apple Crisp with a Granola Crumble

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter *
2 cups granola without dried fruit *
3 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut *
1 cup granulated sugar *
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon *
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a shallow pie pan or baking dish. Mix together 1 cup flour with the brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter until it's all really grainy. Add in the granola. 

2. In another bowl, toss the apples with the granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Then spread in the baking dish. Sprinkle on the topping and bake for 1 hour or until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling (I only did 48 minutes. Partially because I was impatient... and partially because my apples were old and soft as it is). Let cool for 20 minutes and serve atop french vanilla ice cream. Bliss. 
*     Here are the things I changed. I didn't use unsalted butter. I like salt. The recipe said use 2 cups granola without dried fruit. I used about a cup... with dried apples and raisins and it was fine. I have no idea how many pounds of apples I used, but it was about 6 small apples. Also, I used old Paula Red apples. Now I know it's all a matter of preference, but I don't know why all apple dessert recipes tell you to peel the apples. I think it adds a different flavor to whatever you're making and provides a different texture. I say keep the skins. Really? 1 cup granulated sugar? Can you say overkill? I used 1/3 cup. Lastly, when mixing it all together, I only added 1 teaspoon cinnamon. It seemed like plenty... maybe because I used fewer apples than the original recipe called for. Meh.


Daniel's Bakery - Brighton, MA

     After burning 1,875 calories at practice this morning, I stopped at Daniel's Bakery on Washington Street on the way home. I've been wanting to since I moved here. Turns out, they have a lot of Brazilian things. I'll have to experiement. This time, I got what was, hands down, the best scone I've ever eaten. It was cranberry. There was so much going on with it. Let me explain. Crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and the bottom browned with what looked like something carmelized on the bottom. I'm thinking maybe it was butter that they put on the pan before they baked the scones. It made the few bottom millimeters of the scone crunchy with that burnt butter taste. Yummm.  You know how sometimes you get scones and they're so dry and crumbly that it's difficult to eat and you feel like you waste half of the scone to the crumbs that fall in your lap? Ok... I realize maybe that's what a scone is supposed to be like.. but hear me out. This one was the perfect amount of crumbliness because the outside allowed you to break pieces off, but the inside was fluffy, moist, and full of tart and sweet cranberries and the bottom was crisp. See.. you can use 3 adjectives to describe the physicality of this scone: Moist, fluffy, crisp. 2 for a normal scone: Dry, crumbly. Sadly I accidentally deleted the picture on my phone in trying to make space for my apple crisp picture. 

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