…make Apple Crisp, right? Perhaps, if you’re a baker, you may prefer a Lemon Meringue Pie. I’m not a big fan of lemons, myself, so I’d probably just say ‘Thanks Life, I appreciate the lemons. I think I’ll just put them over here for now. Hey, would you mind handing me those apples behind you? Yeah, those nice Granny Smiths – right there. No, I don’t want the lemons right now. Really. I know people like lemons, I’m just not a big fan. Besides, it’s fall, I want to use apples. Yes, I’m sure. Look, I’m the one doing the cooking, I promise I’ll use them for something later. If it bugs you that much, you could just give your lemons to someone else. Maybe they need a little zest in their lives, ha ha! Yes, I thought that was funny. Well, now you’re just being rude. Just hand me those apples and go, we can talk more about this later.” Wow, Life can be a real pain in the rear sometimes.
So, I was working on my October challenge for the Daring Bakers. Pizza was the theme, and I had planned both sweet and savory pizzas. At the last minute, the night I was going to make them, we ended up with visitors, a large group, so I had to rush things together a bit more than I had planned. I set out 3 dough balls for my 2 planned savory pizzas and the dessert pizza.
The first one came together just fine, but the second one had a problem. The dough came apart as I was shaping it, so I had to form it back into a ball. By the time I had handled it that much, the dough would no longer stretch, so I set it aside to let the gluten rest. Dough ball number 3 went fine again and I assembled my second savory pizza. While those were cooking, I was also sautéing some apple slices, butter and brown sugar to prepare my dessert pizza topping.
I returned to that final ball of dough. The gluten had relaxed and I tried to form it again. Again, it didn’t work, the dough was tearing and not forming properly. I decided to try rolling it out and wound up with a tightly wadded piece of dough that would hardly stretch. I finally had to give up, the more I worked the dough, the worse it got. That gluten is tough stuff, and a dough like that just couldn’t take the extra work.
So, now I had a house full of guests and no dessert. The apples were now thoroughly cooked through and placing them into a dish that needed to be baked would have turned them to absolute mush. I thought about a number of different apple dishes, but the apples I had cooked were sitting in a nice lightly sweet, buttery sauce, reminiscent to me of Apple Crisp. I had recently read a blog entry by Joy the Baker for an Apple Crisp recipe. I took the topping from that recipe, laid it out on a cookie sheet and baked it for about 20 minutes. When it came out of the oven, I broke it up into pieces and used it to top spoonfuls of the tart/sweet apple mixture.
Results? Success. Lemons into apples. Failure into triumph. Everyone thought I had made a true bake-in-the-pan apple crisp. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t done the traditional way, but you couldn’t tell the difference.
By the way, if the recipe makes more of the crisp topping than you need, not to worry! It is a great addition to fresh fruit, ice cream, oatmeal, or even just to munch on (not that I would do that).
Life, I got you again. You’re going to have to try a little harder to derail me in the kitchen next time. Pfblllppfff!!!
I’ve posted a copy of this recipe here. Click on any of the photos below for a larger view of the image.