Apple Crisp by Rose Levy Beranbaum
What I love about this recipe is that there is no thickener in the filling to dull the flavor of the apples. This is because the juices are concentrated and there is no bottom crust to get soggy, so the apples can be more juicy.
1-1/2 pounds baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick (4 1/2 to 5 cups of slices/20 ounces)
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 packed tablespoons /1 ounce light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar/1 ounce
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons, packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/16 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup/2.5 ounces bleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
EQUIPMENT A 9-inch pie pan
Preheat the oven to 400 °F at least 20 minutes before baking time. Set an oven rack on the second level from the bottom.
MAKE THE FILLING. In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and toss to mix. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
MAKE THE TOPPING. In a food processor pulse together the sugars, nuts, salt, and cinnamon until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Add the flour, butter, and vanilla and pulse until the mixture is coarse and crumbly, about 20 times. Empty it into a small bowl and with your fingertips, lightly pinch together the mixture to form little clumps.
Transfer the apples and their juices to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. The mixture will exude about 1/4 cup of liquid. In a small saucepan (preferably nonstick), reduce this liquid, together with the butter, over medium-high heat, to 2 tablespoons. (Or spray a 4-cup heatproof measure with nonstick vegetable spray, add the liquid and butter, and reduce it in the microwave, about 4 minutes on high.) Pour the hot liquid over the apples, tossing them gently.
Transfer the apples to the baking dish. Pour in all the remaining juice. Cover the dish with foil and make a 1-inch slash in the middle. Bake the apples for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the surface evenly with the topping. Continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden brown, the fruit juices are bubbling thickly around the edges, and the apples feel tender but not mushy when a cake tester or small sharp knife is inserted. Cool on a rack. Serve the crumb pie warm or at room temperature.
STORE Room temperature, up to 2 days; refrigerated, up to 3 days.
Adapted from The Pie and Pastry Bible (Scribner) copyright Rose Levy Beranbaum 1998, available to purchase on Amazon.