I have come to a conclusion.
My love for fruit is simply so deep, expansive and passionate that it left no room for any vegetable fondness. And that’s the reason – fruit always wins for me.
[Well that… and maybe the sugar content. I mean, just maybe.]
There isn’t a fruit that I don’t adore but much like everything else, I think fall fruits are my favorites. Apples were the building blocks for my very first snacks – the first ones I remember: lots of peanut butter or plainly sprinkled with cinnamon. I was so nuts over apples that occasionally I even ate them for breakfast before school. [There are about four emoticons that I wish I could place after that last sentence. Story of my LIFE.]
As with all other tangible objects in my life, it’s difficult to truly choose what fruit I like best. Strawberries usually win for me, but I can only get good ones for a few months during the summer. Blueberries too, but it’s the same deal. I often go for mangos and peaches – only to end up throwing them in salsas. And bananas – obviously. Giant love for those.
Here’s the thing about apples for me – they are reliable. Usually you can tell the state of an apple by checking out the outside – whereas things like avocados, those peaches and mangos and even cartons of berries can be deceiving in this climate. There is usually at least one variety of apple that I am able to find year round – that tastes and looks fantastic AND is organic. Yeah, of course I wish honeycrisps existed year round… but they don’t. And that’s what makes them so desirable. Right?
Apples are just… easy. And they’re portable and versatile and filling. A handful of berries does not fill me up like a big, old apple.
Okay. I have no idea why I’m talking about this. Point: apples FTW.
Before tossing these cute little chunks in the oven, I doused them in a heavy hand of amaretto and brown sugar. HELLO. Freaking flip out. I topped the whole thing with my favorite crumbly crisp oatmeal topping and dumped in a big cup of the trader joe’s honey roasted almonds. Dude. Those things are addicting. Random sort-of-related-but-not sidebar: many mornings I eat a handful of those almonds and some apple slices for a snack.
[It would be nice to stay on track for once, said everyone who reads this blog.]
I’m pretty sure it’s no secret that this is one of the only ways I will accept fruit for dessert. Apple crisp with a kick. I love making crisps and crumbles and serving them hot with ice cream – but the other awesome thing is that they are easily reheatable for breakfast. Yep.
See how much we learn here?
Yield: serves 4
Total Time: 1 hour
6 medium apples, cored and chopped
1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup amaretto liqueur
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced, toasted almonds
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
vanilla ice cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add the apples to 9x13 baking dish (or a large skillet) and toss them with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Pour the amaretto over top and toss the apples.
In a bowl, stir the oats, brown sugar, almonds, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add in the vanilla extract and amaretto, then add the butter. Use your hands to incorporate the butter until it is evenly distributed and you have a crumbly mix. Sprinkle it evenly over the apples. Bake the apples for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crisp is golden brown and the juice is bubbly underneath. Remove the dish from the oven and serve the crisp hot with ice cream.
[crisp portion from my blueberry balsamic crisp]
This is only the beginning of fall recipe smackdown.