In the baking world, there are recipes that require exactness and precision. One should not attempt to improvise their way through choux pastry or the finicky macaron. It will lead to disaster.
This, fortunately, is not one of those complicated recipes. This is the type of recipe you can fumble your way through and still serve to your unannounced dinner guests. Using staple ingredients from your pantry and fridge, you can usually pull this together when the shelves are otherwise rather bare.
I introduce to you, Caramel Apple Crisp.
Here is where the fun lies; just about every ingredient in this recipe can be substituted or left out entirely, and the result will be delicious. Let me explain….
The topping needs a few things: some sort of flour, some sort of sweetener, and some sort of fat. Gluten intolerant? Use rice flour. Avoiding sugar? Use honey or maple syrup. Vegan? Use earth balance or your favorite spread. Want a little extra crunch? Finely chop some nuts. Just don’t forget the cinnamon. You’ll miss that.
The filling is equally exciting. Apples are a common fruit, meaning most homes have a few lying around in their fruit bowls. But pears are equally delicious. If you’re lucky enough to have peaches in abundance, use those. Fruit crisp doesn’t care. Play around with the spices. I always add cinnamon, but a ginger pear crisp just might have to be on my menu soon. Nutmeg on hand? A dash of that will liven up any recipe. Experimenting is definitely encouraged.
At Gygi, we adore the 5 pound blocks of Peter’s Caramel. Chopping up a 1/2 cup of caramel to stir into the apples is easy when you have a brick of caramel in your cupboard. A quick tip we learned, however, is that the caramel will slowly melt and morph back together again while dicing. To prevent this, simply slice off a chunk and lay it on a piece of parchment paper. Place this in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. The caramel will harden and stiffen making it easier to chop.
Adding caramel to your next apple crisp is a deliciously easy decision. We hope you’ll make a fruit crisp next time company calls. And we hope you’ll throw a few chunks of caramel in there. You’ll like it. Promise.