Crisp x 2: Apricot and Sour Cherry

We had some extra sour cherries sitting around and they don’t last long, so Chris and I made crisp. When in doubt, make crisp!

We made too much crisp topping so I sliced up some ripe apricots and made an apricot one too.

apricot

Apricot… we used too much cinnamon, I cut it in the recipe listed below.

cherry

Cherry. Note the extra juice in the bottom. Had I used a little corn starch that would have helped.

I used my large handled soup bowls (from Williams Sonoma – they are 5″ wide and 17 oz capacity). Each makes a crisp that serves 2, so this recipe really makes enough to serve 4 people.

Crisp topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Fruit filling:

  • 2 cups sour cherries, washed and pitted (2 cups before pitting)
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch (optional, for cherries)
  • Almond extract (for cherries)
  • Vanilla extract (for apricots)
  • 3 apricots, washed and sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix topping ingredients (excluding cinnamon) in bowl by hand making large chunks like crumb cake topping. Set aside.
  3. Optional: toss cherries with corn starch if you don’t want extra  juice in the bottom of the crisp bowl. I don’t mind it.
  4. Put cherries in one oven safe bowl and sprinkle with a few drops of almond extract (1/8 tsp).
  5. Put apricots in another oven safe bowl and sprinkle with a few drops of vanilla extract (1/8 tsp).
  6. Sprinkle half of topping over each bowl, try to keep larger chunks of topping like crumb cake.
  7. Sprinkle top of each with a little cinnamon.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes. The cherry took 35 minutes, the apricot 40 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Fall comfort foods… Chicken Pot Pie and Apple Crisp

I was in the mood to celebrate Fall, especially the fact that October is almost here (my favorite month).  🙂

Today I made chicken pot pie and apple crisp…. mmm fall goodness. Both recipes follow. I forgot to take a photo from the oven. I only got a photo of the aftermath… half way through my pot pie, and that’s just not pretty.

I used a pot pie recipe from the latest issue of Everyday Food but doubled it and made some modifications. My stoneware soup bowls are 16 oz, double the size of the ramekins suggested, so they’re huge. It made 5 large bowls worth (only 4 had chicken and I added extra veg to the meat-free one). Would make about 9-10 ramekins. Here is my version:

Chicken and Veggie Pot Pie

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small yellow onions, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, diced medium
  • 10 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken or veggie stock + 1 cup water
  • 2/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (next time I think I’ll use peas)
  • 3 to 4 cups diced cooked chicken (I used 2 small rotisserie chickens and picked them, but one chicken was overcooked so I didn’t use much of it)
  • dried thyme (I used about 1/2 tsp)
  • Salt and pepper (needs quite a bit of seasoning if you use stock instead of broth)
  • 2 sheets thawed puff pastry
  • 1 beaten egg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion, celery, carrots, and thyme and cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add stock and water, stirring constantly, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in green beans and chicken (omit chicken and substitute another veggie for vegetarian option- I used broccoli this time, next time I’ll use green beans) and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Divide filling among ramekins or oven-safe soup crocks. Roll out the puff pastry and cut rounds to fit bowls or ramekins. Don’t leave the puff pastry out too long to defrost or it gets so soft that it cannot be unfolded! I wound up having to use a rolling pin to roll the sheets out from the folded state.  Cut a small X in center of each to vent, then place on top of filling. Brush with beaten egg. Bake at 375 degrees until filling is bubbling and crust is golden, about 40 minutes.

Apple Crisp

This is a hybrid recipe, Mom’s recipe with doubled crisp topping and a few of Chris’ and my special touches… it fills a 9×13 inch pyrex.

8 large or 12 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters or sixths depending on size – not too thin! (always make it a blend; this time I used some granny smith, gala, and braeburn)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (plus more to sprinkle on apples and on top of completed crisp)
  • vanilla extract (see directions for details)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Peel, core, and cut apples into quarters (for medium) or sixths (for large apples). Sprinkle apples with a little lemon juice while cutting them to keep them from turning brown. Put into buttered pyrex baking pan. Sprinkle apples with a little vanilla extract and some cinnamon.
  2. In bowl, combine softened butter, flour, salt, sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Mix with hands until forms large clumps.
    Break up into crumbs over apples in pan. Sprinkle topping with a little more cinnamon just before baking.
  3. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until you can see juice bubbling along sides and top is golden. Serve warm. Serve it to Chris with vanilla ice cream.   🙂  Sooooo delicious.

 

Individual Apple Oatmeal Crisps

Of course, I forgot to take pictures before everyone ate them; this one from the web looked pretty close but mine didn’t drip over the side.
I made one with Splenda for Pop, that’s the only exception to the recipe.
I made 4 ramekins because I was a little dippy this morning and forgot to count myself.  🙂

My own recipe….
Ingredients:
4 small granny smith apples
4 tbsp butter, softened
4 tsp dark brown sugar (used 1 tsp Splenda for Baking for Pop’s instead)
1/8 cup old fashioned oats
1/8 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel, core, and slice apples to about 1/8-1/4″ thick. Lightly coat 4 ramekins with cooking spray or butter.
Put one sliced apple in each ramekin. Mix remaining ingredients until crumbs form. Top ramekins and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Serve warm.

Blueberry Crisp

I have been disappointed with nearly everything I’ve tried from King Arthur Flour. It’s so frustrating since I love their blog and catalog. I’m sure it must be me, but each one was a problem… usually for flavor. Chris and I are not fans of nutmeg or allspice, and every recipe or boxed-mix of theirs has one or the other. I gave them another chance and tried their blueberry crisp since I had a gigantic bag of frozen Maine blueberries in the freezer.

Result: we didn’t like the allspice flavor at all. When it was warm Chris thought it reminded him of worcestershire sauce! Yuck. Once it cooled it was better, and it jelled well, but next time I’ll eliminate the allspice and double the crumb topping. It was all blueberry and not enough topping. We still prefer blueberry buckle.  🙂

 

Filling
6 to 7 cups (24 to 30 ounces) frozen blueberries
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) lemon juice
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter, melted
1/4 cup (1 ounce) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Topping [Double this next time]
1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

 
To prepare the blueberries: Place the berries in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat them for 4 to 5 minutes, till they’re thawed and beginning to warm. Combine the berries with the remaining filling ingredients, and spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 8″ round cake pan, 9″ pie pan, or 9″ round cake pan; if you use an 8″ pan, be sure it’s at least 2″ deep.

To make the topping: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and flavors, mixing till coarse crumbs form. Set the topping aside.

Bake the crisp in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes, until the berries are starting to bubble. Remove from the oven, and spread the topping over the berries. Bake for an additional 45 minutes, until berries are bubbling and topping is beginning to brown. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely, preferably overnight. If you serve the crisp right away, it’ll be very liquid; allowing it to set up overnight lets the berries reabsorb some of their juices. Next day, serve the crisp plain, or à la mode. Heat it briefly (about 30 seconds) in the microwave, if desired, to provide a nice warm bed for the ice cream!
Yield: about 10 servings.