By Bill Willem
This classic dessert was always a customer favorite at my restaurant and is still a family favorite today.
I like to use tart-sweet apples with a firm texture like Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Granny Smith or Pink Lady. Remember, don’t slice the apples too thick or too thin. Slices about ¼ inch thick will cook up evenly.
For the filling:
5 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced evenly. (If your apples are smaller, you’ll need 6.)
1 lemon juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons sugar
For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup ice cold butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch glass baking dish or 10-inch glass pie plate.
Prepare the filling:
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Arrange slices in the bottom of the prepared glass baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar.
Prepare the topping:
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. and salt. Stir together until completely blended.
Using a fork or pastry blender, cut cold butter into dry mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Butter should be fully incorporated, and the mixture should be crumbly with some clumps.
Crumble topping over the apples. Place on the middle oven rack and bake for 40-45 minutes or until very lightly browned and the apples are tender. Note: Put a foil covered cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any bubble over.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce, or both. Serves six.