Most commonly associated with Johnny Appleseed who planted the seeds for hard cider, apples are steeped in history for their versatility. We love Empires submerged in caramel, Galas sliced with chunks of sharp cheddar cheese, or Cortlands transformed into cider donuts. One of our favorite fall dishes is Apple Crisp a la Mode. When baking, the crisp’s sweet cinnamon and caramel aroma permeates any kitchen.
Our version incorporates walnuts for texture and saltiness, lemon for a zing, and a combination of sweet Golden Delicious apples complemented by tart Granny Smith apples for added complexity. Straight from the oven, we top the crisp with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream-a perfect fall dessert and ode to our favorite fruit.
Walnut Apple Crisp A La Mode
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1/3 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c finely chopped walnuts
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
6 T unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 lbs (about 6-7) Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 c granulated sugar (we don’t like it too sweet-add more sugar if you do)
2 T all-purpose flour
1 t ground cinnamon
vanilla ice cream for serving (we love Breyers Natural Vanilla)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease an 8×8 baking dish or 4 individual ramekin dishes with butter.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt. With a fork, add the melted butter and stir to make large crumbles.
In a separate bowl, toss the apples with lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour and cinnamon. Spoon into the baking dish or evenly among the individual ramekins.
Sprinkle the oat crumbles evenly atop the apple mixture. Bake until the top is golden brown and the apples are fork tender, about 45 minutes. Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 4.
We serve the dish for dessert but have been known to enjoy it as a snack, or even breakfast.