Showing posts with label apple crumble. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apple crumble. Show all posts

Friday, October 21, 2016

Apple Crumble Shortbread Bars

I bet you thought there was no such thing as a “new” apple recipe. Just take a look at the backlist of apple recipes we’ve collected on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen! But I’m always watching for a new twist. This recipe was inspired by a cookie/bar I discovered at the Moon Dog Café in Chester, Vermont this month. (If you’re in the neighborhood, try the café’s meat-loaf sandwich—it’s amazing, and enough for two meals.) I decided to try to reproduce it, and this is the result. It combines elements from a variety of other of my recipes, with a dash of common sense in combining them.

The Crust:

1/2 lb butter (1 cup/2 sticks) at room temperature
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a stand mixer, mix the first three ingredients.

Roll the dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for 15 minutes (this makes it easier to handle).

Press the dough into the bottom of a baking pan (I used a 9” pan with a removable bottom—you do need something with sides to contain the filling, but the overall dimensions aren’t critical).

Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes (this will be cooked, but don’t let it brown). Let cool partially.

The Apple Layer:

Peel, core and thinly slice two or three cooking apples (depending on size). I used locally-grown Empires, which weren’t very large, so it took four apples to cover the crust.

Arrange the apples on the crust in a single layer (some overlap is okay, but it shouldn’t be a thick layer). Taste the apples, and if you think they need it sprinkle with a little sugar, and some cinnamon.

The Topping:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Mix the  ingredients together to make coarse crumbs and sprinkle over the apple layer.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the apples are soft and the topping begins to brown.

As you might guess, the apples will make these bars a bit soggy after a short while—so enjoy them quickly!

Here's the Cafe's version
Here's my version. Pretty close!

Seeds of Deception (Orchard Mystery #10) was #10 among Barnes and Noble's Mass Market Paperbacks in its first week! Thank you all (and for those of you who haven't bought it yet, what are you waiting for?).

Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Please Welcome Hallie Ephron!

Please welcome our guest today--Hallie Ephron!

I keep Lucy’s granola on my fridge, in pride of place next to pictures of my grandbaby, held there by my WRITE OR DIE! magnet. Since both my husband and I are hooked on that granola (not too sweet, fantastic ingredients, healthy…) I replenish our supply every few weeks.

On a snowy day (there was no other kind this winter near Boston) I was making a vat of chicken soup and craving a savory/sweet dessert to go with. Hmmm…. apple pie? I had the apples but wasn’t up for making crust. 

Then I thought: Not pie. Crumble! My eye caught on the granola recipe and I realized it was the perfect topping. So easy. Especially if you’ve got Lucy’s granola on-hand which we always do.

Hallie Ephron’s Apple Crumble with Lucy Burdette's Granola

4 Granny Smiths (or other crisp tart apple) peeled and cut into thick slices
2 or 3 handfuls of Lucy’s Granola   (I like it with almonds or pecans and raisins)
1/3 stick of melted butter
1/3 cup sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. Butter a 7x11x2 glass baking dish
2. Mix the melted butter into the granola and set aside
3. Mix the sliced apples with cinnamon and sugar and transfer to dish. Spread the buttery granola over it.
4. Bake until the topping is is brown and crisp and filling is bubbling - 45-55 minutes
5. Serve warm (with vanilla ice cream if you like) 

New York Times best selling author Hallie Ephron writes suspense novels she hopes keep readers up nights. A three-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, Hallie’s newest is just out: Night Night, Sleep Tight. Set in Beverly Hills in the 1960s and 1980s, it is inspired by Hallie’s experiences growing up there in a Hollywood family.
 Visit Hallie at her web site and learn more about her books.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Apple Crumble with Brown Bread Crumbs

by Sheila Connolly

Okay, it’s two days after Christmas and you’re just plain cooked out.  You’re still eating leftovers, and may be for another week.  Maybe you’re even pizza-ed out too.

But I want comfort food, and that usually means dessert, and particularly one with apples.  No, not a pie, with those pesky crusts, which I still can’t make.  I want a crisp, a slump, a grunt, a Brown Betty, or call it what you will.  Often in Ireland and the UK it’s called a crumble.  I kind of like that. I know, you’ve seen a million of these, but there’s always room for one more, right?

A Bramley apple--it must have weighed a pound
I think I decided on this recipe because I wanted to share with you the picture of a single Bramley apple that I bought (and used!) in Ireland recently.  I like Bramleys, the green cooking apple used in a lot of English and Irish cooking.  It’s nicely tart and it holds its shape in cooking.  And if you use big ones, you don’t have to peel so many.

But then, I have the heel of a loaf of Irish brown bread that I made, that I wanted to use up.  Just like with the pie crusts, I am brown-bread challenged, even though I have at least a dozen recipes from many sources.  I just can’t seem to get it right, but I keep trying.  Anyway, this loaf came out with a strong resemblance to concrete, and (no surprise) we didn’t eat all of it.  So I figured, aha! I shall crumble it up and use it with apples. (I did a dry run of this in Ireland—with bread that someone else made.)

Except I couldn’t find a recipe.  I found many that had the same basic ingredients for the topping:  cold butter, flour, cinnamon, often oats and/or chopped walnuts.  All tasty, I’m sure, but not what I wanted.

So I improvised:  first, I reduced that megalithic brown bread to medium-size crumbs (in a food processor).  Then I segued to the typical recipe and where you mix the crumble part with your fingers with brown sugar and butter.  Cinnamon if you’re in the mood. 
The fruit bit.  Take some apples, peel and slice or chop into chunks.  Toss with sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Place in a buttered casserole dish, then sprinkle the aforesaid crumble over them.  Bake.

In a fit of optimism I bought two pounds of fresh cranberries a while ago (we live a mile from the nearest cranberry bog) but never used them, since we were a couple of thousand miles away on Thanksgiving.  They’re hanging in there, so I threw in a cup or two of those too.  If you do, increase the amount of sugar in the fruit mixture, since the cranberries are a bit sour. It's up to you. If the result is still too tart, add sweetened whipped cream at the end.

Fresh local cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Generously butter a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.


2 pounds cooking apples (greenings, granny smiths, or whatever you have—I used Cortlands and Northern Spys from my own trees!)
Two pounds of my own apples
1/2 cup white sugar

1 Tblsp white flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1/2 pound fresh cranberries (optional)

In a large bowl, toss the ingredients to cover the fruit pieces, then transfer to the baking dish.


2 cups (brown) bread crumbs, (if you’re not using crumbs, substitute rolled oats and/or chopped walnuts)

4 oz/1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup brown sugar, packed

¾ cup white flour

½ tsp cinnamon


Mix all the ingredients together with your fingers—the mixture will be chunky.  Sprinkle it over the fruit.
Ready for the oven

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the juices bubble around the edges and the top is nicely browned.  Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or whatever you like.
And ready to eat!
Coming in February 2014!  If you're a fan of Downton Abbey and/or classic mysteries where all is explained in the final scene in the drawing room over tea, you'll enjoy this.

And may 2014 be filled with wonderful things for you.




Saturday, November 12, 2011

Announcing: The MLK Easy Holiday Meal!

We’ve entered the holiday season and those of us at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen would like to make your holiday a little easier and a little more delicious! How? Well, we’ve come up with an easy holiday menu for you and will post a dish each day over the next week so that you don’t have to come up with your own. Here’s what we’ve cooked up for you:
Sweet Potato and Pear Soup
Turkey Cutlets
Seitan Pot Pie
Corn Casserole
Holiday Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette and Poinsettias (drinks)
Apple Chutney

And true to the style of my Pies & Prejudice heroine, Ella Mae, we’ll assume that life is short and we should therefore start with dessert, so here's the Charmed Ginger Maple Apple Crumble Pie!

1 Charmed Pie Dough (or, if you don’t want to make your dough from scratch, use a Pillsbury crust with the Charmed Egg Wash)

6 cups of peeled and chopped apples (pick your favorites or substitute Bartlett pears for the apples)
1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar

1/4 cup of pure Grade A maple syrup
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
Crumble Topping Ingredients

2/3 cup flour
1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 Roll out pie dough and place in a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie dish Put in the freezer to set.
2 Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the chopped apples in a large bowl with the cornstarch, ginger, brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Toss well using your fingers.

3 Place the apple mixture into the pie dish. Place the pie into the center oven rack and bake for 45 minutes.
4 While baking take all the Oatmeal Crumb Topping ingredients and place them in a bowl. Using the pulse button on your food processor mix the ingredients until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until use.

5 After the 45 minutes are up remove pie and reduce heat to 375F.
Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the pie and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least one hour. (I couldn't wait and my piece fell apart as you can see from the photo). Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
What's your favorite holiday dessert? Post a comment and you could win this month's hot chocolate themed prize! (see photo of tea towel and hot cocoa sampler)