Now that we're more than halfway through September, I'm finally accepting the end of summer.
I won't say that I'm happy about summer ending, but now I'm looking forward to apple-picking season!
Also known as fall.
I baked my first apple crisp of the season this week. Since I'm still in the mood to smother everything I make in salted caramel, I decided it would be a good idea to coat the apples in sea salt caramel instead of cinnamon and sugar.
It did not disappoint!
- "Sunday Morning Coming Down"...Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
- "Hate To Say I Told You So"...The Hives
- "Icky Thump"...The White Stripes
- "Scar Tissue"...Red Hot Chili Peppers
- "Brain Stew"...Green Day
- "Sweet Child O' Mine"...Guns N' Roses
Apple Crisp with Sea Salt Caramel
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 large granny smith apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
Gather your ingredients.
Totally disregard the lemon in this picture. I'm such slow photographer that I figured I would have to sprinkle the sliced apples with lemon juice (to prevent them from turning brown), but there was no need.
Get started on the caramel. Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk constantly as the sugar melts.
Whisk in the sea salt and the heavy cream. I couldn't take a picture of this step because as you can see the mixture starts to foam and bubble. If I stopped whisking to take a photo, it would have boiled right over. Continue to whisk and it will calm down.
Stir in the butter and vanilla.
Whisk until the caramel is smooth. Turn off the heat and set aside.
I decided to go with granulated sugar for this caramel because I wasn't sure how my usual thick caramel with brown sugar would bake with the apples. I had visions of very thick, sticky apple crisp if I were to use brown sugar--not good.
For the topping: melt the butter in your microwave in a medium bowl for 30 seconds on HIGH. It's okay if the butter is not completely melted.
Stir in the remaining topping ingredients--the flour, brown sugar and white sugar. It will resemble coarse crumbs.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Core, peel and thinly slice your apples.
Arrange half of the apples in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce for drizzling over your apple crisp after it has baked.
Pour half of the remaining caramel sauce over the sliced apples that you just arranged in your baking pan.
Top with the remaining apple slices.
And pour the remaining caramel sauce over the apples.
I was going for an action shot here. I almost got more action than I bargained for when my left wrist gave out on me as I was trying to hold the heavy cast-iron saucepan so I could snap a picture.
I yelped as I almost dropped the pan.
My yelp got the attention of my two sidekicks. For some reason, I decided to explain to them about the action shot.
All they picked up on was my saying "Action!"
Clyde: Immediately goes into downward dog, tail wagging furiously.
And now back to our recipe.
Spread the crumb topping evenly over the top of the apples.
Another action shot. I'm just glad that the bowl that the topping was in was much, much easier to steady for this shot than the cast-iron saucepan was.
Bake the apple crisp in your preheated 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
When it's done the top of the apple crisp will be all crunchy and bubbly, and the apples should be soft and easy to pierce with a toothpick.
To serve, drizzle with the reserved caramel sauce and top it with whipped cream. Or ice cream!
Enjoy it while it's warm!