Thursday, October 2, 2014

Grilled Apple Crisp

I'm a bit obsessed with apples. They are my favorite part of autumn. I go to pick-your-own orchards a few times a season, and also buy apples at market. I dehydrated 200 lbs of apple chips last year-enough for lots of snacking over the winter. My very favorite way to use them is to make apple crisp. And seriously, what's not to love? Apples, sugar, oats, cinnamon and baked til the sugar is all rich and caramelly (It's my blog; I can make up my own words if I want to!) and you have found paradise. I thought it couldn't get any better. Until I put it on the grill.

Oh my.

Take all that goodness and now add just a hint of smokiness for an out of this world dessert.

As usual, I don't have a formal recipe to follow and just sort of wing it each time I make it. Here's the basics:

* Cast iron skillet in whatever size suits your needs. For a big family, pull out the giant one. I use my mini cast iron skillet for a perfect dessert for two.
* 3-6 tbsp+ butter, depending on the size of your crisp, plus extra or pan spray for greasing the skillet
* Apples of any sort, but I prefer the more flavorful apples like granny smithy or fuji rather than bland ones like "delicious" (I've never thought so) or gala. For a small skillet, you will use around 2 large or 3 small apples, for a large skillet you will use 6-7 large.
* 2 tsp - 2 Tbsp cinnamon (the more the merrier, I think)
* 1/2-1 c sugar-brown, white or raw (use more or less to taste; I like to use less so I can taste the apples more than just sweetness)
* 2-3 c oats, any kind (I've even been known to use packets of instant oats that had been given to me) or a mix of oats and flour or just flour or even some kind of plain breakfast cereal.
* maple syrup (optional, but encouraged)

Grease your skillet. Slice the apples into bite-sized pieces, enough to fill the skillet to the brim. When you add the crumble, it will be higher than the top of the skillet, but it will sink as the apples cook down. Melt the butter and add the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Mix together thoroughly with your fingers then sprinkle it liberally over the top of the apples, making sure to cover to the edges. It's always better to err on the side of extra crumble, so make more if you don't have enough. If you'd like, drizzle maple syrup over the top of the crumble.

Place the skillet on the grill grates over direct medium heat. I cook it while grilling other items to maximize my propane use. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the filling is bubbly, the sugars are caramelized and the topping is browned, but not burned.

This dessert is perfect as is, hot and bubbly off the grill. If you want to be really naughty, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's also perfect the next morning cold for breakfast.

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