Stovetop Apple "Crisp"
The weather is changing, apples are ripe and abundant, and once again it's Pumpkin Spice Season – Autumn in New England! This recipe celebrates those great tastes of Fall, with an iconic apple recipe made a bit simpler – no baking; it's all done on the stove. Cooking's done in a snap, once the apples are peeled and sliced.
I chose two types of apples: Golden Delicious (which holds its shape) and Macintosh (collapses like applesauce). Together, they make an appealing (aPEELing, ha) combination. Choose your apples depending upon which textures and flavors you like best.
Pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar create that familiar apple-pie taste, so good on a brisk fall day. A pinch of salt tones the sweetness down a tiny bit. And butter brings a lush richness.
Once the apples were cooked down, I decided to experiment with deepening and enhancing that wonderful spicy apple flavor – with balsamic vinegars and flavor-infused maple syrups. (Yum!) My favorite add-ins turned out to be vanilla, red apple, or maple dark balsamic vinegars, and the ginger or cinnamon-vanilla Runamok infused maple syrups. Just a touch of any of these adds a new depth of flavor. I liked them all, each for a different tasty reason!
As for topping – the “crisp” part of apple crisp, I cheated and did not make a streusel. Instead, I added granola, easy to layer right on top of the cooked apples. There are so many great flavors from which to choose, and already prepared – win! I especially liked two different flavors from Maple Nut Kitchen: pumpkin gingerbread, and maple nut. Before topping the apples, I poured some granola into a bowl and microwaved it, just to warm it up a little. I also tried a variation: I put some butter and granola in a pan on the stove, and stirred it on medium heat, which didn't exactly crisp it up, but did add some nice butter flavor, and warmth for serving.
Also on top, I'm guessing no one would say no to a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you have it. But this is delicious as is, and it's even good (shh!) cold from the refrigerator – a perfect Fall breakfast!
Stovetop Apple “Crisp”
Skillet Spiced Apples, Topped Your Way!
- 8 apples
- ¼ Cup butter
- ½ Cup dark brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- pinch of salt
- Peel all the apples (slice them during the next step).
- In a large skillet, over low heat, melt the butter. Add the apples as they're sliced (uneven chunks and some peel are fine, and save a little time: “rustic” vs. “refined”). Cook over low to medium heat, stirring, and continuing to cook for about five minutes after all the apples are in the pan.
- Stir in the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and cook another five to ten minutes over medium to high heat, until apples are done to your liking and some of the juices have evaporated.
- All done! Remove from heat. If desired, stir in your choice of:
- Balsamic Vinegar: try vanilla, maple, or red apple infused – or your favorite
- Runamok maple syrup: try cinnamon vanilla or ginger infused – or your favorite
Choose whatever flavoring appeals to you, and stir in a teaspoonful or so to start. Add more to taste, as desired.
- Top with your choice of:
- Maple Nut Kitchen Granola – try Pumpkin Gingerbread, Maple Nut, or your favorite flavor. Try it heated, either in the microwave, or toasted in about a teaspoon of butter in a pan on the stove, stirring frequently.
- Vanilla ice cream!
Serve warm, or cooled; reheated in the microwave, or cold from the refrigerator (I won't tell!).