It’s always a somewhat intimidating experience, for anyone that’s about to visit the Big Apple for the first time. You’ve heard stories from the locals about how awesome the experience will be, how the city is the center of the cyclone! “It’s so easy to navigate the city”, they say. But for someone that has never been here, it can be a mix of excitement, fear, anticipation, excitement… J
Sounds very much like how I feel about baking. I’m not a baker. I almost never measure ingredients and I have never viewed cooking as a science. Cooking for me is a fun, relaxing activity, a way to stimulate and inspire creativity; not only in myself but also in the ingredients I use.
So as I stared at the dozen red delicious apples on my kitchen counter (which were meant for juicing with a variety of veggies for a healthy meal supplement) I began to question my fear of baking. Is it really THAT intimidating to coax delicious ingredients into a making love and turning up the heat! I was about to find out….
This dessert was inspired by my best friend’s visit to New York City. Having known her since we were in diapers (well not really in diapers! Unless you count the fashion of the late 80’s to be so ridiculous that we’d rather be wearing diapers!), I was uber excited to see her so I wanted to make a warm, delicious and comforting dish to welcome her and her husband into my home and to the Big Apple!!
My creative twist and influence of my unscientific approach to cooking is seen in the citrus punch that the lemon and orange zest brings to the dish. It cuts the sweetness of the cinnamon, sugar and maple syrup just enough to make you want to come back for another slice!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it! And yes, I’m also very happy to report that I am now a little less intimidated and little closer to trying my next baked goods experiment! :)
For the Crust
2 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour
1 cup unsalted butter (Ice cold and cut in ¼ inch cubes)
1 Tsps. Salt
1 Tsps. Sugar
6-8 Tsps. Ice water
For the filling
A dozen red delicious apples (I did not use granny smith apples because I love the natural sweetness of the red delicious ones)
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsps. of All Purpose Flour
2 Tsps. Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of fresh grated Nutmeg
1 ½ Tbsps. Maple Syrup (I use Real Maple Syrup)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
For the Crumble
½ cup All Purpose Flour
½ cup Old Fashioned Oats
¼ cup Sugar
¼ cup Brown Sugar
1 ½ Tsps. cinnamon
½ Tsps. salt
4 Tbsps. of unsalted butter (Ice cold, cut into small cubes)
For the crust
1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processer and pulse to mix
2. Add cold cubes of butter and pulse 6-8 times until butter breaks down into the size of peas
3. Add ice cold water, one teaspoon at a time and mix until the dough begins to clump together. You don’t want to over mix or add too much water!
(Pinch the dough between your fingers, if it holds together, you are done! If not, add an extra teaspoon of water and mix again).
4. Remove dough and place in a bowl and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes
5. Remove dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface, then place in a pie dish.
For the filling
1. Peel and cut apples into 1/4 inch slices and place in a large bowl
2. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and lemon and orange zest and mix well to combine
3. Now add the lemon juice and mix to coat all the apples to prevent browning
4. Finally add the maple syrup and pour the mixture into rolled our pie shell
For the Crumble
1. With a fork, mash the cold butter until it breaks down into size of peas
2. Now add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine
3. Sprinkle the crumble mix over the prepared apples and make sure to cover the entire surface
Bake the apple crumble on a baking tray, at 375 for at least an hour or until center is soft. If the top browns too quickly you should cover it with foil.
After baking, let the crumble rest for 20 minutes to cool down before digging in! Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or enjoy just as is!!