Ina Garten Apple Crisp

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Ina Garten Apple Crisp in a ramekin is still one of my favorite desserts. Crisps can be served warm or cold, with ice cream, whipped cream or custard. Fall is finally here, which means it’s time to break out the apple cider, curl up with a good book or a TV show and make your first delicious homemade Apple Crisp of the season!

Ina Garten’s Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp {Hooray for Apple Season}!

You know the classic back-to-school decorations with apples on them? The old-fashioned teacher’s desk with the perfect red apple sitting next to it? You might be thinking all of that is outdated and perhaps a ‘thing of the past.’ I’m here to tell you that it is not. I have an apple sitting on my desk at work right now.

Teachers love apples. The reason is simply practical. Teachers get about a 20 minutes lunch and an apple is something they can grab and eat real quick with one hand while they’re busying doing something else with the other. Teachers are experts at multitasking.

I usually take an apple to work everyday. I suppose this explains why I have 17 apples on my kitchen counter at the moment. I don’t do subtle. 

I have been working from home and I found I’ve been eating a little differently, not as healthy. Nowhere near as many apples. So, what’s a girl to do with all her apples?

Ina Garten’s Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp, because if there’s one thing Ina knows it’s roast chicken and desserts that go with it, namely apple and plum desserts. I’ve got your number, Ina.

I’ve made plenty of apple desserts with varying success, so I researched the ratings on Ina’s crisp and while it had 5 stars, I could see some potential issues. Some people said this was too sweet…no worries for me because I love sweet. Other people said they didn’t like the lemon/orange zest and juice. I needn’t worry about that because I love citrus. A few said it wasn’t good at all. So, after analyzing the recipe, I came to the conclusion that I knew what the issue was.

Ina calls for 5 pounds of apples. Most people have no idea what 5 pounds of apples looks like and that is definitely going to cause issues. Five pounds of apples is soooooo many apples. For example, I had 18 apples of varying sizes and it really only equated to about 3 pounds of apples, so you have to adjust your sugar and zest and juices to match. My advice: try to weigh your apples, or do some research about five pounds of apples and try to get real close. If all else fails, add the sugar, zest, and juices incrementally, tasting as you go. If you like what you taste then odds are you’ll like the final product.

Additionally, I’m not one for huge chunks or wedges of apple in my desserts. I don’t want an unmanageable wedge of apple making me look like a neanderthal when I eat. I want a cube of apple that I can eat like a lady. I also want my apples to be completely soft, not hard, not semi-hard. Hard and semi-hard apples in desserts are just not my thing.

Things needed for a successful apple crisp:

1) Measure your apples and get as close to 5 pounds as possible.

2) Cut your apples in a size that works for you. You want them soft? Cut them into small chunks.

3) Don’t just add spices, zest, and juices all willy nilly. Add them a little at a time, tasting as you go.

4) Taste your apple mixture. If you can’t quit eating the apples, then you’re probably good to go!

Now let’s talk about the topping: MOST people love a 2:1 ratio, more topping to apples. Even if you DO NOT have five pounds of apples, why not go ahead and make the full batch of topping? 

Ok, so apple desserts 101 is now behind us, and this is where I’m going to tell you that I KNEW THIS APPLE CRISP WAS GOING TO BE THE BOMB BEFORE I PUT IT IN THE OVEN! I mean you know how you can just tell?

First of all, I could not quit eating the cubed apples tossed in the sugar and lemon/orange juice/zest mixture.Then the apple mixture perfectly fit the pan and the crumble topping came together beautifully and perfectly covered the crisp. The whole thing was screaming apple goodness. Vanilla ice cream, who?

This is THE PERFECT Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp and I am going to be eating it for dessert and as I’ve mentioned before, I will even justify eating it for breakfast because it is in a way, apples with baked oatmeal, right?

What are you waiting for? Ina’s Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp is calling your name!

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

Serves 10-12

Apples:

5 pounds apples*

grated zest of 1 orange

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice*

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice*

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg* 

For the Topping

1-1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar,packed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 pound cold butter, diced 

Notes: Apple desserts are also best with a mix of various apples. For this dessert I used Golden Delicious, Honeycrispy, Rose, and Queen apples. I used about 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon because I don’t like the spices to be too strong. I also omitted the nutmeg entirely for the same reason. Ina calls for only 2 tablespoons of lemon and orange juice and I accidentally added all the juice of both, and they were very juicy fruits. At first I was worried, but it turned out perfectly as I loved the flavor.

For the apples: Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x 14 by2″oval baking dish. Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices (*I used the juice of the entire lemon and orange), sugar, and spices (I only used about 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and chose to leave out the nutmeg because it’s too strong for me). Pour the apples into the dish.

To make the topping: Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use your hands. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the sizeof peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

To bake: Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm, on it’s own or with vanilla ice cream. 

Ina Garten Vs. Karlie Kloss: Whose Apple Crisp Is Better?

LDW has come and gone, thus apple season has officially begun. Although some of you have been rocking desserts like apple s’mores and hasselback apples all summer long. It’s a bit too early for pie (it’s too much work thus far ahead of Thanksgiving!), but it’s the perfect time for apple crisp.

Our basic recipe is the easiest and best, in our opinion. However, we could never pass up the opportunity for a celebrity snackdown. Enter: Ina, the beloved Barefoot Contessa, versus Karlie Kloss, model, vlogger, and celebrity who, like the Kardashians, has an affinity for replacing the letter c with k.

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Apple Crisp - Delish.com
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INA’S RECIPE

This crisp is pretty traditional, but in typical Ina fashion, it has a few fussy steps and requirements. First, she very specifically wants you to use McIntosh or Macoun apples, neither of which we could find in our local grocery stores. And her instructions say to use a 9″-x-14″ oval baking dish. (We can say confidently that the shape of your baking vessel will not affect the taste.)

There’s also the fact that she calls for very cold butter to be beaten in a stand mixer with flour and sugar until coarse crumbs form. Why we don’t just start with softened butter and mix everything with a wooden spoon, we’re not sure.

The orange zest and juice, however, are what really made the difference in the taste test. Most people appreciated the floral notes, though some wanted less of it. One person equated the taste to melted down jolly ranchers.

Apple Crisp - Delish.com
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KARLIE’S RECIPE

How is a supermodel who looks the way she does on the runway “obsessed” with baking? She turns everything — from kookies to apple krisps — healthy.

Instead of butter, she uses coconut oil. Rather than all-purpose flour, she adds almond meal and gluten-free oats. And instead of granulated or brown sugar, she uses a combination of date sugar and maple syrup. Beyond the facts that date sugar is annoying as hell to find and that the final baked dish is not easy on the eyes (the Jolly Rancher taste tester eloquently said it looked she dumped the contents of a sandbox on top), the flavors worked better than we had anticipated.

GLUTEN FREE APPLE CRISP (INA GARTEN RECIPE)

This easy Gluten Free Apple Crisp is based on the recipe of Ina Garten. It’s baked with citrus infused apples and a streusel crumble topping.

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp is a great recipe to have on hand throughout the fall holiday baking season!

Gluten free apple crisp on small white plate with fork.
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We enjoyed the first snowfall of the season yesterday which means that we can retrieve our baking sheets and rolling pins from the back of the cupboard because it’s baking season!

I’m not a baker by nature but my goal this year is to fine-tune my skills. I purchased a baking scale and an assortment of flours with which to experiment.

I figured if I was going to learn more about baking I should look to one of the masters – Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I started out with a fall staple – Her Old Fashioned Apple Crisp. It’s classic Ina Garten recipe – Rustic and classy at the same time. And of course it’s totally mouthwatering.

The only adaption I made to this recipe was to use gluten free flour which makes the whole thing gluten free. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving dessert, or anytime, really

Peeled and diced apples with cinnamon in ceramic bowl with wooden spoon.
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HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE APPLE CRISP

The key to any fall apple dessert are the apples themselves. This gluten free apple crisp recipe uses an apple variety I’d never tried before – McIntosh.

I’m accustomed to combining a few different varieties of apples – usually Braeburn and Granny Smith – in my baked goods in order to achieve the right sweet and sour balance but these McIntosh apples themselves are totally balanced. It was a happy discovery. I definitely recommend using them if you can find them.

If you can’t find McIntosh apples I recommend a mixture of 2 Granny Smith apples and a few of a sweeter variety such as Braeburn, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Gala.

  1. Peel and core 5 lbs. of McIntosh apples. Cut the apples into wedges or chunks and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Add the zest of 1 lemon, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, the zest of 1 orange, 2 Tbsp. orange juice, ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. nutmeg in the bowl with the apples.
  3. Stir the apples until they are evenly coated in the sugar and spices.
Oatmeal streusel topping in ceramic bowl.
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HOW TO MAKE STREUSEL TOPPING

The next step is to make the streusel topping. I have to admit that I’m a big fan of streusel topping. I love the buttery crunch and chunks of oatmeal – It really doesn’t get any better.

To make this topping it’s best to use a Kitchen Aid or stand mixer using the paddle attachment.

  1. In a stand mixer, combine 1 ½ gluten free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour), ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¾ packed cup light brown sugar, 1 cup gluten free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Old Fashioned Rolled Oats), ½ lb. diced cold butter, and ½ tsp. kosher salt.
  2. Mix the ingredients using the paddle attachment until everything is combined and roughly the size of small peas.

A Quick Note: Make sure to dice the butter before adding it to the mixer. I added the sticks whole, switched on the mixer, and poof – Streusel ingredients all over the counter and floor!

Unbaked apple crisp with streusel topping in metal cake pan.
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HOW LONG DO I BAKE APPLE CRISP?

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish. Ina’s recipe calls for an oval 9 x 14 x 2 inch baking dish so by all means use that if you have one but my baking vessels are pretty basic so I went with a 9 x 13 inch cake pan and it seemed to work just fine.

  1. Pour the apples into the pan and spread evenly across the bottom.
  2. Pour the streusel topping evenly over the apples until they are totally covered.
  3. Place the pan in preheated oven and bake for an hour.
  4. Remove the apple crisp when it has finished baking.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Baked apple crisp in metal cake pan.
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HOW TO TELL WHEN APPLE CRISP IS DONE

The streusel topping on the apple crisp will become golden brown and the apples will get nice and bubbly as they cook. The sugars in the dish caramelize as it bakes creating a nice color and candy-like appearance around the edges.

The apples should be easily pierced with a fork or knife when they are finished baking. They should be soft but not mushy.

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp smells amazing as it bakes. It will definitely feel like Thanksgiving once you pop this baby in the oven!

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