Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Time for Apples and Apple Crumble!

Hello friends! Happy first day of autumn! My favourite season has officially arrived and I couldn't be happier. The weather around here has been glorious with crisp mornings leading way to warm, sunny afternoons.  The maple leaves are starting to change colour and the crickets are chirping their happy songs.

Apple season is in full swing here in Ontario, so we took advantage of the lovely weather this past Sunday to visit a fabulous local "pick your own" apple farm - Pine Farms Orchard - in the heart of King City.  We had such a fun time!

The orchard boasts row upon row of pick-your-own apples.  There are so many varieties to choose from.  We picked three types -  honeycrisp, royal gala, and russet apples.

The honeycrisp apples are my favourite!  Not only are they sweet, tart, and crisp, but they're perfect for baking with as they retain their shape and texture really well!

Look at the pretty pumpkins all lined up along the storefront!

If you don't fancy picking your own, you can buy these fresh picked apples at the barn/store instead.

Now that our home was stockpiled with apples, I looked for some fall baking inspiration in one of my favourite seasonal dessert cookbooks -
 Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.  

Every recipe I've made from this book has turned out marvelous, and this time was no exception.
I decided to give the apple crisp with brandy-soaked currants a go.  It was utterly delicious and captured the essence of fall with every bite.  When I shared the photo of the finished dessert, a few friends asked me for the recipe, so I am sharing it here with you today.

The recipe suggests using Golden Delicious, Gala, or Jonagold apples.  I used Honeycrisp and they were perfect - sweet, tart and held their shape/texture very well.


1/2 cup dried currants (I used dried raisins)
1/4 cup apple brandy (you can substitute regular brandy or orange juice)
1 tablespoon butter for greasing the pan

Crumble Topping
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 

Fruit Filling
8 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick (3 pounds prepped)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


First soak the currants in brandy or orange juice for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.  I used apple brandy because I just happened to have a bottle of it at home.  It was given to my husband and I a few years ago and I've finally found a use for it!  Yay!  

Butter a 9 inch square baking pan and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. 

Make your topping first because you will need to place it in the freezer while you work on the apple filling.  

For the crumble topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and work it together with your hands, making sure to leave some small clumps or crumbles.  Place the topping in the freezer while you make the filling.  

Now toss the apples, sugar and flour together in a large bowl until well combined.  Transfer the apple filling into your baking pan.  Scatter the currants over the apples.  Add your crumble topping evenly over the fruit. 

Bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until you see the apple filling is bubbling.  My apple crumble only started bubbling after 60 minutes; only then did I remove it from the oven.

At this point, the aroma of cinnamon, apples, and brown sugar will be wafting throughout your house and you are going to want to dive right into that apple crumble, but you are NOT going to do it!  Cool the crumble for at least 30 minutes so the juices can settle and thicken a bit.  

You can top the apple crumble with vanilla ice cream or heavy cream.