Wednesday, September 8, 2010

APPLE OATMEAL CRISP not quite sweet enough for Rosh Hashanah

A good apple crumble... just a bit too tart to start off the new year.

Monday i was thinking about Rosh Hashanah and decided it would be nice to make something a little different (or "different" insofar as the holidays are concerned).  I've already offered to bring a round challah,  so now i want to think of a sweet apple dish.  Well, i guess i wasn't in the mood to think too hard.  I found what looked like a simple recipe for an apple crisp.  This recipe came from the Cafe Beaujolais cookbook which I've had for over 20 years and can tell you it's provided me with some wonderful dishes and stories that i will never forget to go along with those dishes.  This recipe (and probably most recipes that call for apple slices) called for soaking the apple slices in lemon juice.  I get the idea of not wanting the apples to oxidize so you keep them in an acidulous bath, but... Rosh Hashanah is supposed to be sweet, sweet, sweet.  No tart.  No sour.  We want to start the year out on the sweetest note possible.  So why did i use the lemon?  In fact, i also used granny smith apples which tend to be tart.  Next round i'm using golden delicious (sorry, Rosa.  I'm aiming for sweet on the second version).  I made the apple crumble (which smelled delicious as it was cooking) and brought it to my office on Tuesday.  The RPD taste testers seemed to like the dish, although some commented on how tart it was.  In fact, my sister said it reminded her of a lemon meringue pie.  Not a good sign, especially for Rosh Hashanah. 

Apples bathing in lemon juice and zest.  Bound to be more tart than sweet.
What was i thinking?!?!
 I decided that the second apple crisp would be made with apple juice, honey and a splash of lemon juice, and i would try golden delicious apples.  Yes, the honey and golden delicious apples should make a tremendous difference, and hopefully this dish will be perfect for the holiday! 

Although the pictures in this posting are from the tart apple crumble made on Monday (with the lemon juice and lemon zest), as i write this post i'm in the process of baking a new, revised crumble using the apple juice/honey/splash of lemon juice mixture along with golden delicious apples.  I'll have to post tomorrow after our Rosh Hashanah lunch to let you know the consensus.  I have a feeling this one will be a lot less tart.

Assembled and ready to bake

Fresh out of the oven and smelling delicious!

Recipe is adapted from Margaret Fox's Cafe Beaujolais, Mendocino, California

When i refer to "my first crumble", it's the tart version; "the second version" is the one i'm hoping turns out much sweeter.

Ingredients -
  • 6 firm apples, peeled, cored and cut in 1/4-inch slices (my first crumble i used granny smith; the second one i used golden delicious) 
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon (i omitted the zest on the second version)
  • 1/4 cup of apple juice
  • 1/4 cup of honey (this became an afterthought that i used in the second version only)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinammon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of light brown sugar (I used 3/4 cup of demerara plus 1/4 cup of golden brown sugar for a little extra sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup of regular oats
  • 1/4 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • optional toppings:  vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla custard sauce
Mix together the apple slices, lemon juice, lemon rind and apple juice (or brandy, water or Calvados).  Place in a buttered 9-inch round cake pan.
Using an electric mixer at slow speed, blend the sugar, butter, flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until crumbly.  
Mix in the slivered almonds.
Scatter evenly on top of apples.
Bake at 350°F. for 1 hour.
Serve warm.

And enjoy this dessert knowing i send you best wishes for a new year filled with an abundance of health, happiness and peace.

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