Black iron apple crisp

More fun with cast iron: how about an old fashioned apple crisp?  Tender apples topped with a buttery, crunchy toppping–like the dessert cranked out by school cafeterias all over America, only boosted with more butter, spices, and nuts.  The cast iron will caramelize the apple bits resting on the pan’s bottom, especially if you toss the apples with a bit of brown sugar.

Apple crisp is a good grilling dessert, and it cooks nicely on a cooler charcoal fire (around 350-375 is perfect for baking on my Big Green Egg).  It’s also an accomodating dish, expanding or contracting according to your apple supply, number of guests, or appetite.  Venture beyond the typical apple pie spices (cinnamon, cloves) and add flavors to complement a grilled meal (lemon or orange zest, grated ginger, a pinch of nutmeg).

Seriously simple apple crisp

  • Peel, core & slice an apple per serving desired.  Two to four apples will fit in an 8″ cast iron skillet; 6-9 apples in a 9″ skillet, etc.
  • Line cast iron skillet with aluminum foil.  Butter foil generously.
  • Toss sliced apples in a bowl with 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.  Spread sugared apples evenly in buttered, foil-lined skillet.
  • In a small bowl, combine equal parts softened butter, rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, and sliced almonds (or your favorite chopped nuts).  1/4 cup of each item will make enough crumbs to generously top an 8″ skillet.  Add 1/4 tsp ground ginger, lemon zest, or your favorite pie spices.  Mix together with a fork, blending until the mixture is combined.  Spread the topping over the apples in the skillet.
  • Bake at 350 to 375, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, until the apples are tender & bubbly and the topping is lightly browned.
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