Monday, April 04, 2011

Apple "Crisp"

I'm not sure in what world this would be called an apple crisp, but the cookbook says it is from Massachusetts so...write your own punchline.

Essentially, these are baking powder biscuits, with apples, butter, a ton of sugar and baked in a sauce. Delicious, but not apple crisp. The recipe comes from the New York Times Heritage Cookbook, so the recipe has probably been floating around New England for some time. There are so many things like this-grunts, slumps, rolls, cobbler, shortcakes. The sauce it bakes in is novel, but the rest of the recipe sounds like pretty much every other baking powder biscuit based dessert ever made.

I served it with whipped cream, which I had to whisk by hand as I was awaiting the delivery of new beaters for my hand mixer (which arrived after I made the whipped cream). Truth told? There isn't much to whipping cream by hand provided the bowl and whisk are both cold. In fact, I think the way the air incorporates might actually be superior to beating the hell out of it with a hand mixer. Years ago, I taught Danny to count to 100 by counting as I whisked whipping cream. He learned to count, and whip cream in the same lesson.

The recipe did not say if the dish was to be turned out, but I did so anyway. Most times, sauce dripping over hot rolls is rather attractive, though I think this might be the exception as there is just so much of it. A little glaze is one thing...

You Will Need:

For The Apple Rolls:
2 cups Ap flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lard (I used shortening)
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup milk (aprox.)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups peeled, cored and diced apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9 inch square pan well and set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the lard and butter until fine. Slowly add the milk until you have a soft dough. Knead very lightly (less than a minute). Roll out into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar, apples, and cinnamon. Drizzle on any leftover butter.

Roll-up jelly roll fashion from the wide end. Cut into 1 inch slices and place in prepared pan. Set aside as you make sauce.

In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in the warm water, then slowly bring it all to a boil over medium heat whisking until dissolved. Boil three minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in cinnamon, then pour hot syrup over rolls. Bake (on a baking sheet to catch any drips) 45-55 minutes (mine took about 1 hour) until rolls are firm. Serve warm with whipped cream if you have it.

Makes about 8 servings.

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