Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Southern Apple Crumble

 Welcome to Apple Week,
presented by The Novel Bakers.
I'm not a fancy cook.
In the kitchen, I'm speedy and shameless.
Rolling all over the place and making a mess.
When it comes to fruit desserts,
I rely on store-bought pie fillings and crusts.
I actually like those items.
I don't want to peel apples for 500 hours when I could be goofing off.

But Apple Week nudged me out of my comfort zone, straight into the heart of comfort food.
I baked a Southern Apple Crumble, the kind that my grandmother used to make in a cast iron skillet. And, because I didn't want the fruit to be the same size or consistency, or even the same variety, I needed to control the apples.
That wasn't going to happen with store-bought pie filling or canned apples.
I needed to bake my crumble from scratch,
a word that strikes fear into the lazy cook's heart.
But it was worth it.

This one-pot dessert is a country cousin to stately, lattice-topped pies.

It's not a debutante.
It won't win a beauty pageant, either. But it's delicious and soul-satisfying, the perfect
dessert on a chilly October evening.
 It travels well to picnics and potlucks, too.
Best of all, it's easy.

You don't have to peel the apples.

Layered textures are the hallmark of this dish.
Creamy, chunky, and crunchy.

Are you ready for a taste of autumn?

Southern Apple Crumble
Serves 4
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 vanilla pod (split in half and remove seeds)
3 Granny Smith apples, cored (peeling is optional)
3 Honeycrisp apples, cored (peeling is optional)
4 teaspoons dried cranberries
1 or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 lemon, zested
juice of 1/2 lemon
 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Grate 1/2 of the Granny Smiths and Honeycrisps.
Chop the remaining apples into bite-sized chunks and toss in lemon juice.
In a heavy, 3 quart baking dish, add sugars. Caramelize over a medium
flame, 4 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla seeds, cinnamon, and apples (including lemon juice).
Cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon zest and cranberries. Stir.
Remove pan from the burner.
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granola
Into a large bowl, add sugar, butter, flour, and cinnamon.
Blend with a pastry cutter. Stir in the granola.  Spoon the topping over the apple mixture, then place the mixture on the stove. Heat until the apples bubble. Pop the dish into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the topping is brown.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.


How about a dollop of whipped cream?
Yes, please. A big dollop.



Apple Week Recipes:

Apple Week continues today with fellow bakers Mary, Jain, and Pam.
I can't wait to see what these talented ladies have prepared.
 Jain   a quiet life,

Thanks for stopping by.



Update: I turned 60 today. When I read my email this morning, I saw that Jain, the organizer of The Novel Bakers, had brought my friends together for a surprise birthday party. I slept a bit late this morning and didn't have a clue until I saw the comments on this post. I'm bowled over! Hope you'll celebrate with the girls. Come along and see what they're up to:
home is where the boat is
rattlebridge farm
...a quiet life...
sidewalk shoes
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch 
Shared at Metamorphosis Monday. 
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  1. I am loving apple week at your blogs! My favorite apple is Empire (it's a NY apple).

  2. Hi Michael,
    It has been awhile since I have been by, but a fun visit indeed, loved all your pretty apple pictures..........and your apple crisp sounds delicious, love that you don't need to peel the apples. Don't you just love those honey crisp apples?? I am not a big apple eater, but I love those things............they are just the best apples!
    Hope all is well with you hon,
    Blessings, Nellie

  3. Happy, happy birthday Michael Lee. I'm not much of a baker or a decorator, so I made Ary Jean's red beans and rice and they are by far THE best I've ever eaten. You are such an inspiration to all of us. I hope you have a fabulous day.

  4. Mmm sounds delicious! I love apple crumbles in the fall, so cozy and delicious! All those apples look beautiful!

  5. "Scratch, a word that strikes fear into the lazy cook's heart"...somehow 'lazy' doesn't fit the picture I have of you :) Your country cousin crumble looks so good with your layers of brown sugar, granola, and cinnamon topping. My problem is I always want to scrape the topping off and eat it first! Love the apples peaking out from beneath the table in your dutch oven shot!

    Wishing you a wonderful day! I hope it's as adventuresome or as lazy as you desire~ Happy Birthday!

  6. Michael Lee, a very, very happy birthday to you! I hope you are treated like the queen you are! Hugs and love with no birthday spanks from Purple Chocolat Home.

  7. Happy Birthday to you Michael Lee....the tributes everywhere are well deserved..I hope your day is as special as you are..
    and this apple dessert is perfect for making this very afternoon......
    Love, Mona

  8. oh such gorgeous shots, but we are not here to see apples today, we are hear to SHOUT HAPPY BIRTHDAY! turn on your darn computer and lets get this party started, the novel bakers and friends are here to celebrate with you!

  9. Happy Birthday! So glad I found your site via Purple Chocolat Home! I'll visit often. Have a terrific day!

  10. I love apples - all apples! Pinning all these pictures. Just lovely.

  11. Happy Birthday!! Have a great day !!

  12. Happy Birthday! I found you on Sidewalk Shoes. I must admit ;) I have never read any of your books, but I am inspired to do so now! Have a wonderful day!

  13. Happy Birthday to you, Michael Lee! I hope your day is filled with festive delights. You've certainly delighted your fans all these years. I'm here to say how very much you've inspired me. You are a beautiful friend, inside and out. I feel so honored to call you my friend. I adore your style with words, photos, food, and interiors. I wish you many years of happy times at Rattlebridge Farm. Happy, Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!~ Sarah

  14. Happy Birthday to such a beautiful, kind, generous friend, who is an inspiration to all of us. May your day be filled with lovely surprises and your year be a blessed one. xxoo

  15. Your photographs are beautiful. The apple crisp looks wonderful and just a perfect dessert for a cool fall evening.

  16. Happy Birthday Michael Lee! Great tribute your friends did for you. Love your books and your blog. Thanks for all that you share.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  17. Happy birthday Michael Lee! I had such fun participating in your birthday surprise. Your apple crumble looks delicious--just the kind of easy recipe I love! Have a wonderful day! Linda

  18. Happy Birthday to you.............and many, many more. Have read a couple of your books and am now reading "Mermaids in the Basement". Enjoy them.
    Warm regards,
    Cherie Wallace - Gresham, Oregon

  19. Happy, happy birthday!! Your blog has enriched my life in so many ways. Thank you!!!
    My wall oven died and the new one sits in the garage awaiting installation, as soon as it is in place I am going to make this for dessert. There is a big bowl of apples sitting on the island just waiting to be made into something delicious. Can't wait!!

  20. Happy 60th Michael!!
    I hope your day is fabulous and that your new year brings you much happiness!

  21. ♫♫ Happy Birthday to YOUUUUU! ♫♫
    There better be some birthday cake on the menu today or your guys will be hearing from me! Oh...and some flowers, too. AND some PRESENTS....LOTS of presents!! This is a biggie, we know & have been planning this virtual birthday party for you for weeks.
    Have fun visiting everybody & seeing what they came up with to celebrate with you.

    I like the idea of not having to peel the apples for this crumble...that always takes so much time. Thanks for sharing the recipe & Happy Birthday again. I hope you have a wonderful year in store, ML.

  22. Looks wonderful...Just bought some Honey Crisp at the Farmers Market...and a big Happy Birthday to you!!!!....

  23. Your apple crisp sounds great, I love those Honeycrisps! I truly hope you have a wonderful B-Day Michael-enjoy:@)

  24. Your apple crisp sounds great, I love Honey Crisps! I truly wish you a wonderful B-Day Michael-enjoy:@)

  25. Happy birthday young lady (I can say that!). I am your new follower, came over from More Fun Less Laundry. My hubby and I owned an apple farm with lots of old type apple trees so now I want to make an apple desert.

  26. Oh my pretty lady, I simply adore your Apple post with all that red and your galvanized three tier with all those three color apples!!! Swoonnnnn!!!!!!!!! I love ALL kind of apples, I eat one everyday! I'm hearing it's your birthday my friend! You're a Libra like me, I will be Oct. 20th. Wishing a the happiest of year's and always too. Big hugs,

  27. Happy Happy Birthday to you Michael and may you have many many more and all your wishes come true. The Honey Crisp looks yummy and i will have to try it. Thanks so much.

    and ..........MAY YOU HAVE MANY, MANY MORE -Brenda-

  29. Happy Birthday to you! This is my first visit to your blog. It's beautiful. I will be visiting often.

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  31. Really, REALLY looks awesome....

  32. This sounds wonderful! I was skeptical until I read that you don't have to peel the apples!! Woohoo! It looks like a debutante to me!