Friday, October 4, 2013

Using What's Been Put Up: Skillet Apple Crumble

One of the most convenient items to have on hand is canned pie filling.  You can make any number of desserts quickly by simply popping the lid off the jar and topping the filling with some type of crumble or crust.  Whether it's Spiced Peach Crisp made with Cardamom Peach Pie Filling or this Skillet Apple Crumble made with Apple Pie Filling, crisps and crumbles are my favorites because the toppings are so easy to put together.  You can have a great, homemade dessert ready for the oven in minutes.  

This dessert can be made from scratch if you don't have canned apple pie filling on hand, but if you don't have any, you should really make some very soon before apple season ends.  The filling is perfectly spiced, just gooey enough without being too thick, and the apples (if you use a baking variety) hold their shape nicely.  The crumble topping is easy to make and requires items you probably have on hand.  I will warn you that this dessert has a high ratio of crumble to filling.  I like it that way so that you get a fair amount of topping in every bite, and while I am making it in a skillet, it can certainly be made in a pie pan lined with a crust.  In that case, it would be more like a Dutch apple pie.

If you don't have the pie filling on hand, use the 1 quart recipe from National Center for Home Food Preservation and skip the canning step.  You just may need to blanch your apples slightly longer so that they cook through during baking.  If you want to make more, use the 7 quart recipe from that site or my slightly altered version below.  The crumb topping recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated, and even though it requires two baking periods, it is well worth the extra minutes.  The topping stays crisp and crumbly on this dessert without turning to mush in the filling.    

Skillet Apple Crumble- makes a 10 inch skillet dessert or pie

1 jar apple pie filling
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cornmeal
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  

Spoon apple pie filling into a cast iron skillet or baking dish.  

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugars, and cornmeal.  Drizzle the melted butter into the dry ingredients, and toss with a fork to moisten until large, pea-sized crumbs form.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the crumbs in an even layer on the baking sheet.  Bake the crumbs 5 minutes until golden brown.  Cool several minutes until cool enough to touch.  

Sprinkle the crumbs over the pie filling.  Bake another 10 minutes until deep golden brown.  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.  

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