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Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping


 
The original recipe for this delicious Apple Crisp comes from the November 1945 issue of Country Gentleman.  The original recipe serves 8 to 10 people which makes it great for large family sized get-togethers.

I have adapted it to make only 4 to 5 servings however, which suits the smaller size of our family better. I just cut all the amounts in half. If you want to serve more, then you can certainly double the ingredients back up again!

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

 This apple crisp recipe differs somewhat from most apple crisp desserts.  Most will have an incredibly sweet brown sugar, flour, butter, and oat topping.  The topping for this one is much more like a biscuit topping.

It is almost more like a cobbler than it is a crisp.  But just like a crisp, it is a beautifully autumnal dessert that your family is sure to love.   

It is perfect made with the fresh autumn apples which are available at present. But don't let that limit you!  It is also delicious made with other Autumn or even Summer fruits!

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

 Why not try it with Peaches or Plums. Nectarines would also work well, as would Pears, Raspberries, Blueberries, or Cherries.

You could even do a combination of fruits.  Some delectable ones would be Peaches and Raspberries. Or Peaches and Blueberries.  Pear and Apple go very well together, as do a mix of berries.  We like it best with apples however.

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

 I like to use a mix of apples if I can.   I combine some tart cooking apples with some sweet eating apples.  Bramley are the cooking apple of choice over here in the UK.  They break down to a nice and fluffy, allmost applesauce texture.

Granny Smiths are tart, (not quite as tart as the Bramley), but tend to hold their shape better when cooked. Sweet crisp eating apples add a special sweetness to the mix. I like Pink Ladies. 

Combining more than one kind of apple will give you a mix of tender apples suspended in a thicker sauce. If you use more cooking apples than sweet apples you may want to add a few tablespoons of sugar to the mix so as to prevent it from being too tart.

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

 You can even use canned apples, which makes it that much easier.  My first husband came from a farm family.  They had dairy cows, sheep, chickens and orchards. They also grew vegetables for the local cannery.  That would vary year to year. 

One year their fields would be filled with peas, and another it might be beans or even carrots.  They also grew their own feed for their livestock. 

They grew a variety of apples.  A delicious mix of eating and cooking apples.  Autumn was always a hive of activity as everyone worked hard to get it all in before the really cold weather arrived.

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

Nothing was wasted. Even the drops were used.  They were sent to the Scotian Gold factory to be made into apple juice or pressed into cider.

My MIL was very good at putting things up of course. Shelves in her cold cellar would be lined with jars of produce she had put up, including apples. There was also bins of fresh apples that, surprisingly, lasted all Winter almost into the spring.


Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

I learnt a lot from Lois about cooking.  She was a fabulous cook. Most farm wives are great cooks. They need to be. There were always extra mouths at the dinner table and during harvest season this could add up to quite a few extra mouths. 

Quite often labourers would pick and choose where they wanted to work according to the kinds of meals the Farm wife would prepare.  Being a good cook made a huge difference to the quality and quantity of labourers you could and would get!

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

 Lois passed away several years ago at the age of 100, having outlived her husband by a good many years.  I have always been very grateful to Lois for all that she taught me about being a good wife and a good cook. 

She was no shirker of hard work, that's for sure.  She was cooking and crafting right on up into her old age, and with care managed to live in her own home right up to the end. 

This dessert reminded me of the kind of dessert she would have baked. It has her name written all over it.  Old fashioned. Simple.  Delicious.


The topping for this is very easy to make.  It is a mix of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, with a beaten egg cut into it. You may be tempted to think that something is missing, but don't worry.

Nothing is missing. You cut the beaten egg into the flour mixture like you would shortening into biscuit dough. It ends up quite crumbly, almost streusel like.


With big dampish clumps and smaller crumbly drier bits.  Don't worry, that is as it should look. You sprinkle this over your apples in the baking dish.

Once you have done that you drizzle the top with melted butter. Oh my goodness.  Yes, melted butter, so good  . . .  and then a final sprinkle of cinnamon. 

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

 Because  I use a mix of apples, the filling has plenty of texture. There is soft saucy bits of apple and firmer bits of apple, all mixed togther.  Quite nice really. 

You could make short work of cutting the apples by using an apple corer/slicer. I think, however the wedges it makes would be a bit too thick, so if you use one, cut them in half yet again.

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

 This went down a real treat served warm from the oven with ice cold Vanilla ice cream. I do have ice cream scoops somewhere in two sizes, but do you think I can ever find them when I need them? Nada. Not at all. 

That's what happens when you have a chef's kitchen crammed into a kitchen that was not meant to be used by anyone who actually likes to cook. Too much stuff, not enough space, equals a degree of frustration that varys from day to day.  I really need to get rid of some stuff.

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping


Things would run a lot smoother if I had less stuff.  I keep telling myself that, but then I look at things and can't quite bring myself to part with them, because  . . .  you guessed it, they might come in handy one day.

Anyways, do make this Apple crisp for yourself. I think you will be pleasantly pleased with the results.  Moreishly delicious especially with something cold and sweet spooned over top. 
 

Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping

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Apple Crisp with Sweet Biscuit Topping
Yield: 4 - 5
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 55 Mininactive time: 20 Mintotal time: 1 H & 25 M
A delicious apple dessert with a fabulous sweet biscuit topping that is very easy to make. Best served warm with some good vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • 5 large apples, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick wedges
  • 1 cup (140g) plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (95g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 TBS butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 7 by 9 inch baking dish, or an 8 inch square baking dish.  Arrange the apple slices in the baking dish in an even layer.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.  Stir in the sugar and salt. Add the egg and stir/cut it into the flour mixture with a fork or a pastry blender until crumbly. It should have a mix of wet and dry bits.  This is how it should look.  Sprinkle this evenly over top of the apples.
  3. Drizzle the melted butter over top evenly.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon. 
  4. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender with juices bubbling around the edges of the dish.
  5. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving warm. Spoon out from the dish and accompany with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream or some pouring cream.

notes:

The best apples to use are a mix of apples, with some sweeter eating apples, a few firm cooking apples and some tender tart apples. A good mix in North America would be McIntosh, Granny Smith, Jazz and Jona Golds. Here in the UK I would use a couple Bramley apples, some Granny Smith's and some Pink Lady's.

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So the virus is rising again. They say we are into the Second Wave now. I don't know what to think about that. Its a tiny bit frightening to say the least. Stay safe and stay happy! And while you are at it, enjoy some apple crisp! This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again! 

 

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Marie Rayner
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1 comment:

  1. It looks delicious -- and maybe a fine use for my newly purchased apples!

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