As I mentioned before on Facebook I was recently given the privilege of teaming up with about twenty other uber talented homestead/farm bloggers to form the Farm Chick Chit Chat Community Blog. If you have not yet ducked over there to check it out I would encourage you to do so. The site is a clearinghouse for all things farm and homestead related: caring for chickens, raising goats, canning and preserving, country decorating, crafts, from scratch cooking, and the like.
This month the Farm Chicks are featuring apples as a theme to celebrate the arrival of the fall season. In addition to a variety of apple recipes (including an apple pie bake-off on September 15) you can expect to find tips on growing apples, ideas for decorating with apples, and ways to preserve apples. The recipe for today is my contribution to the apple theme: an apple prune crisp with hazelnut topping.
I discovered this recipe just this past week when asked to bring a dessert for our Labor Day family picnic. I had (I still have) a slew of apples purchased from a local orchard that I needed to use but I wanted something a little different than just the standard apple crisp. This dessert did the trick and is definitely something I plan to use again before the season is out.
Don’t be put off by the prunes. When cooked with the apples and oatmeal they really offer a nice flavor and if you don’t want to refer to the prunes in the recipe title, you could always call it “Apple and Dried Plum Crisp…” which I’ll admit, does have a lovelier ring to it.
The recipe calls for 2 Granny Smiths cored, peeled, and chopped. I didn’t have Grannies. I had a much smaller cooking variety so I just gathered up what seemed to me to be a suitable amount for five people. An apple crisp is very forgiving isn’t it? It doesn’t really matter if you have a little more or a little less. I also opted not to peel and chop the apples. I personally think the peel left on gives apple desserts a rustic texture and it seems to help the apples hold their shape as opposed to them cooking down to an unrecognizable mush but you do as you please.
Toss the apples and prunes dried plums with the sugars and flour and allow the mixture to set for five minutes.
Then, while they are baking in a preheated oven you have time to toast your chopped hazelnuts, and prepare the oatmeal topping. The hazelnuts and oatmeal are combined and added on top of the apples for the final 20 minutes of baking.
Served with homemade vanilla ice cream, this was divine. I would also suggest serving with creme fraiche or just a drizzle of heavy cream.
Prune Dried Plum Crisp with Hazelnut Topping
1/3 c sugar
3 T packed brown sugar
1 T flour
2 t ground cinnamon
2 large Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/4 pounds) cored and sliced
1/2 c pitted
prunes dried plums, chopped
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1/4 c old-fashioned oats
1/4 t salt
1/4 c unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
1 c hazelnuts toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8″ square baking dish. Mix both sugars, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix in apples, then
prunes dried plums. Let filling stand 5 minutes. Transfer to prepared dish. Bake until beginning to bubble at edges, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare topping. Mix sugar, flour, oats, and salt in medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until moist clumps form. Mix in hazelnuts.
Scatter topping over filling. Continue baking crisp until topping is golden, apples are tender, and juices are bubbling thickly, about 20 minutes longer. Cool slightly.
This recipe was adapted from this much loved cookbook: