Saturday, June 8, 2013

Apple crumble

Sometimes I feel as though I should rename this blog “Roving Lemon’s Cast-Iron Skillets,” given the number of photos in which one features. But they are so reliable and versatile that I find a reason to use one nearly every day. I don’t even bother assigning them cabinet space anymore – they just live on the stovetop, stacked up in a pile.

For my latest skillet trick, I used one to make Skillet Apple Crumble. Having agreed to host a guest lecturer on a weeknight for DP, I was racing around the kitchen, trying to shoehorn starter and dessert prep in with dinner prep, and have the kitchen looking remotely presentable when company arrived. When I make apple crumble, I usually sauté the apples quickly in butter and cinnamon sugar on the stovetop, before dumping them in a baking dish, piling crumble topping on, and sticking in the oven. It was in the midst of the sauté step that I thought, “Why dirty another dish?” So I added a batch of crumble topping directly to the skillet, and into the oven the whole thing went.

DP is not usually a crumble fan, but after he got back from dropping off our guest, he said, “Hey, that crumble was actually good. I would eat that again.”

I’m not saying it was the skillet. But then again, I’m not saying it wasn’t.

Skillet apple crumble

Apple part
half a can of ginger ale*
a large handful of dried cranberries
4 Granny Smith apples
~ 2 Tbsp/1 oz/30 g butter
~ 2 Tbsp/1 oz/30g cinnamon sugar

Crumble part
½ cup/2 oz/60 g whole wheat flour
½ cup/1.5 oz/45 g rolled oats
½ cup/3 oz/90 g raw sugar
¼ cup/2 oz/60 g butter
2 Tbsp/1 oz/30 g maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Pour the ginger ale into a shallow bowl and add the cranberries. Leave to steep while you get on with everything else.

Peel and core the apples, then chop into chunks. Melt the butter in a medium cast-iron skillet over low-medium heat, and add the apples when the butter starts to bubble. Sauté the apples in the butter until lightly browned, stirring frequently and sprinkling with cinnamon sugar. Remove from the heat and stir in the soaked cranberries until evenly distributed, then spread out the fruit mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the skillet.

While apples are cooking, place crumble topping ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a uniform rubbly consistency. Scatter thickly over fruit, then place the skillet in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the top is browned.

Serves 6.**

* I used this because I had an open can needing to be used up. You could substitute any kind of juice.
** I served this with pouring cream, which was good. Then I ate leftovers the next day for breakfast with a big dollop of Greek yogurt, and that was so much better.


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