November 4, 2011
Ashmead’s Kernel is an ugly apple – more brown than golden, with a thick skin. But I like the way it tastes, and it gives something as simple as an apple crisp real character. You could, of course, use any apple for this, but try it with one of the old heritage apples – Esopus Spitzenberg, Golden Russet, Arkansas Black or Calville Blanc d'Hiver are some favorites – and see what a fine experience an apple crisp can become.
Nothing could be simpler than an apple crisp. Simply layer peeled, sliced apples into a buttered pie plate or baking dish, toss them with lemon juice and top them with a mixture of flour, butter, sugar and salt. I cut most of a stick of sweet butter into 2/3 cups of flour and 2/3 cups of brown sugar that have been enlivened with a dash of salt, and pat it over the top of 5 or so sliced apples. The cooking time is forgiving; you can put it into a 350 oven and pretty much forget it for 45 minutes to an hour. The juices should be bubbling a bit at the edges, the top should be crisp, golden and fragrant. Serve it warm, with a pitcher of cream.
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