Apple and Honey Crisp

At IFFP last week our Rabbi and Reverend were talking about preparing for Rosh Hashanah.  There was a lot of information…a lot.  I’m not going to lie, some of it went over my head.  I tried to stay tuned in but, and please don’t tell anyone, my thoughts drifted a bit.

Then he said “Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world” and my mind snapped back into focus.  I liked that.  I don’t know why, maybe I’m just sentimental or I like a really good piece of imagery.  Right as we are getting into wonderful, fresh fall, but before we start think about the winter ahead, we are given a chance to kick back and celebrate the “golden years” of the earth. What isn’t to like?

Plus, if I was thinking about it as a birthday that gives me a whole new cooking scheme to play with!  I knew you were supposed to eat apples and honey for a sweet new year, but how do you give that a twist? At first I was playing around with an apple and honey cake…but to be honest I just didn’t FEEL like baking a cake.  When fall comes and it gets crisp and cool (even if that is only in your head because it is still actually in the high 70s in this weird mid-Atlantic region)  I want something warm and scrumptious that you eat when it comes right out of the oven.

So, I wondered if I could make a twist on an apple crisp and add honey.  The answer?  Yes, you absolutely can.  It had all of that crumbly deliciousness of a crisp but then a sweet honey after-taste.  It feels strange to use a description like that, but it is true!

A huge bonus was that this came together, from start to finish, in less then an hour.  That is especially good for me because I tend to start baking projects way too late at night.  The proof is in the pictures, which are all taken as close to my table lamp as possible because it is pitch black outside.  Sorry about that….

Enjoy this crisp hot from the oven or at room temperature.  Maybe add a scoop of ice cream!  Wait a second…could you make honey ice cream?  Woah, I’m going to have work on that and get back to you!

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”

6 medium apples, cored and sliced.

***You can use any type of apple you like but something tart cuts through the sweetness best.  Also, a super juicy apple will make this crisp more “runny”***

Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
5 tablespoons softened/room temperature butter
Pinch of salt

1 large bowl
1 8in square or 9in round pan
Measuring cups and spoons
Knife and cutting board
Apple Corer or, my splurge, an awesome peel/core/slice device

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter your baking dish.

2. Core and slice the apples.  When we got married I put the most awesome “unitasker” on our registry, really my only strange splurge, that peels, cores AND slices.  However, it is not neccesary.  You could just cut the apples off the core and slice them up into chunks.  Just make sure everything is about the same thickness so it cooks through.

3. Put the apples in a  bowl and toss them with the juice from 1/2 a lemon, 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey. Spread the apple mixture into the buttered pan and set it aside.

4. In your bowl (yes, I just use the same bowl and no, I didn’t rinse it out or anything first) combine the rolled oats, brown sugar, flour, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  Add the butter and mush it around with your hands until the lumps have been broken up and everything has come together in a big crumbly mass.  You can do this in a food processor if you don’t like getting dirty or you really want another bowl to wash.

5. Sprinkle the crumbly mixture over the top of the apples.  Make sure you have it covering as evenly as you can!

6. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and looks deliciously crispy.

7. Eat it hot, at room temperature, on its own or with a scoop of ice cream.  Happy New Year and may it be a sweet one for you!

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