Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Crispiest Apple Crisp, Ever? Ever!

Here is the apple crisp recipe that I teased yesterday, with the outrageous claim that it’s the crispiest apple crisp topping ever. Can I prove that fact? No, and that’s the beauty of such culinary hyperbole, no one can prove otherwise.

The secret ingredient, as identified by several astute observers yesterday, is Grape Nuts. This extremely crispy and crunchy breakfast cereal does some amazing things to your basic oatmeal-based fruit crisp topping mixture. I figured anything that can soak in milk for 10 minutes and still be crunchy, would work well.

Here is a link in case you are not familiar with this product, and if you can’t get any, don’t worry, you can just double the oatmeal, or add other things like chopped nuts, etc. Will it be as good? No, not even close.

By the way, in case you’re not sure, this is a dessert. It’s not a breakfast food, it’s not a healthy snack, it’s a sweet, buttery, deliciously crispy dessert. If you want healthy, slice some apples over a bowl of oatmeal, but if you want a semi-decadent after dinner treat, I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Some of you are having issues with your own "accidental apple candy," and while I joked about it in the clip, I should have been more clear about not cooking the sugar too much before adding the apples. You can add them pretty much right after the sugar goes in the pan to avoid this issue. The risk with that is too much water from the apples diluting the caramel sauce, but that's probably the lesser of two evils.


For the topping:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (rolled oats)
1/2 cup Grape Nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar

For the filling:
5-6 apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp cinnamon

47 comments:

Stefano Bart said...

Great! Homer ChefJohn Simpson...

luke said...

Let me fix that for you Chef John: "And you'll see what looks to be a caramel sauce bubbling around the outside, around the outside, around the outside..."

Anonymous said...

YAY! for the freakishly small wooden spoon appearance!

Sharon said...

Chef John, you are brilliant, my friend.

wrockwrock said...

Looks to be a keeper! Thanks Chef. Suppose that other fruit would work quite well also... peaches come to mind?

Megan Villa said...

I have a food wish! Crispy Sweet Potato Fries. please?

Anonymous said...

can't believe you didn't leave the skins on! oh well still looks like a good recipe.

Anonymous said...

Euell Gibbons would have been proud of you, Chef John aka Chef John Grizzy Adams...

omg....can eat this apple crisp for breakfast and dinner due to the Grape Nuts transforming this dish into a healthy meal...(^^)

Kurt said...

Grape Nuts............pure brilliance!

raquel@eRecipe.com said...

I don't care if it is not a healthy snack or anything else. Enjoying once in a while treats like this is awesome! =)

Steven said...

Do you use light brown sugar or dark brown?

Anonymous said...

Looks perfectly wonderful.
Last fall I made an apple pie for the freezer to be consumed in the spring in memory of my granddaughter. The tree was planted almost 7 years ago in her memory and this was the first time we had enough apples for a pie. I had enough apple filling left over to make a little pie that I cooked immediately. The apples were Pink Lady and I had no idea if they were good for pie or not.
As it turns out, that little pie was so darn delicious. From now on I'm using Pink Lady in my apple desserts and pies.
Thanks for that wonderful looking crisp recipe.
Jackie

Συνταγούλα said...

hello chef john,
because in greece we don't have grape nuts can i use whole grains??by the way great recipe!!!thank you!!

Sunny said...

Chef John, this looks amazing!! But I live in Canada and I don't think we have grape nuts here, do you have any suggestions for a substitution?

Jim said...

This was the first time I didn’t follow your exact directions for a recipe chef, & it caused this dish to come together quite differently for me.
I skipped the pre-cooking of the apples, which I assume is the reason I didn’t have enough topping to cover them all. So I increased the topping amount, which was enough, but it was very moist...like a cookie dough. The moist topping was having a hard time browning, so I raised the heat & baked it an extra 20 minutes.
All & all it turned out great, but I'll admit I was getting a little nervous there.
Next time I'm sticking to your methods chef...promise.

Chef John said...

Sorry, but to those asking, I know of no sub for Grape Nuts!

Anonymous said...

for those asking about "Grape Nuts" not available in their locale...one can make their own that will be very close to "Grape Nuts"....a homemade substitution for "Grape Nuts"....

Honey Maple Grapenuts Cereal

makes about 2 pounds

3 cups whole wheat or graham flour (King Arthur brand white whole wheat flour is tasty in this recipe)
1/2 cup barley flour or rye flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour or oat flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg OPTIONAL
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons maple flavoring (may use vanilla, or almond or other nut flavor if making as a nut substitute)
1/4 cup warmed honey or maple syrup, brown rice syrup
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk

Sift the dry ingredients together several times to blend thoroughly. Beat the liquid ingredients together, stir intothe dry ingredients. Mixture should be very fine, just like commercial Grape Nuts (not doughy). If too wet work in a little additional flour.

Spread on 2 or 3 baking sheets and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Stir to break up granules and bake 10 minutes longer, until fragrant and golden brown. Cool and store in air-tight container.

hope this may help...Euell Gibbon's ghost (^^)

Anonymous said...

For those outside of the USA, you may want to try this recipe for an alternative to Grape Nuts cereal:

1 c wheat flour
2 c graham flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp malt powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c buttermilk or sour milk

Preparation:
Grease 2 cookie sheets.
Preheat oven to 350

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients; Spread on cookie sheets and bake 35-40 minutes at 350. Break up in chunks and air dry in 200 degree oven until it is brittle (overnight). Grind in food chopper; Store in large airtight canisters.

Cécile said...

This video got me sooo hungry! Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Chef John, do you recommend light brown or dark brown sugar for this recipe? Does it make a difference?

By the way, this is my new favorite cooking blog!

Chef John said...

I've used both and there isn't a major difference.

Unknown said...

Excellent recipe but I doubled the cinnamon and added 1/4t of rum extract - YUMMY

Anonymous said...

Chef Johnny, would you either agree that this is your most complicated recipe to date, or that you crammed a complicated recipe into a very small video ;)? It's short!

Anyway, I'll trythis on the weekend. Go grape nuts!

LC

Anonymous said...

Very yummy looking apple crisp. On a totally unrelated note, there's a new Telenovela on Univision that had a couple swanky ballroom party scenes and at the beginning of each scene, they started playing the "Buddy" imovie song you use for your videos. I was hoping you'd pop up and whip up something good to eat, but alas, I had to settle for cheesy melodrama instead.

Gloria said...

You can purchase Grape Nuts at Amazon.com. As well as the excellent " America's Family Favorites, Best of Home Cooking".

Anonymous said...

I made this today, but when I added the water it immediately turned the caramel sauce in the pan into hard candy. I'm not sure if this was supposed to happen, but my heat was on low to medium so that I wouldn't burn it. I ended up taking the crunchy bits out and added a bit more of the two sugars to coat the warmed apples before putting in my baking dish. Oh well... that aside this turned out fantastic! Thank you very much for finally showing me how to make the apple crisp I always wanted! :)

larry said...

Yeah, mine turned into candy too....I think you can add apples prior to the sugar caremalizing. I'll try that next time

Chef John said...

Yes, I'm posting an update now. I joked about it, but should have been more clear about me cooking the sugar too much before adding the apples. You can add them much earlier to avoid this issues, but the risk there is too much water from the apples diluting the sauce, but that's probably the lesser of two evils.

Anonymous said...

Oh for heaven's sake of course we have Grape Nuts in Canada. Seriously people.

Warren said...

Hey Chef! Thanks for the update, I encountered that tonight while making this. No worries, I picked out the candied bits and went for another round, pretty much doing what you suggest. Worked great. It's cooling now and the whole place smells wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Am making this tonight, Chef... I just have to laugh about the ubiquitous lemon juice to prevent browning.. when they always brown anyway!!

Cooking the apples before is genius... I am always overcooking the topping cause the apples take a tad too long.

THANKS!!

Anonymous said...

Made this on Sunday. Very good, but very sweet. Next time I'll just use a little sugar with the apples. Topping was a smash!

Anonymous said...

We would call this Apple Crumble downunder. Only difference is we don't cook or coat the apples in sugar first. They go straight into the dish after cutting them. I like to give a generous sprinkle of cinnamon at that stage. Then cover with the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon combo. I will have to try your ultra sweet version sometime. :-) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

To "Sunny", I live in Canada also. I found grape nuts in the cereal isle at my local Sobeys grocery store. In some places its known as Thrifty Foods. Hope that helps =D

ElsiDeLaNiña said...

Amazing chef John!!

Anonymous said...

Chef John is it possible to write down the amount of time it takes to bake the apple crisp?

Anonymous said...

Must the melted butter be in a cold temperature or issit okay if it is in a room temperature?

Chef John said...

doesn't really matter!

Anonymous said...

jUST DELICIOUS just made for dessert tonight, we will enjoy, thanks , i used to have an old recipe using applesauce and crumbling grapenuts, it was good too,

Gsweb8 said...

Made this twice this week. Yep, it's that good. So here's the deal. If you cook the sugar enought to make a pre-Carmel sauce then add the apples, you get apple candy. Simple fix...melt the butter, add the sugar until its mixed together, add the apples and cook on medium heat until the liquid reduces and the apples soften. Fantastic. Grape Nuts are PERFECT for this! Chef John, you'da man! PS: my wife loves it when I make this, and it's cheaper than going shopping.

Gsweb8 said...

Made this twice this week. Yep, it's that good. Here's the deal. If you make a pre-caramel sauce then add the apples, you will get apple candy. No worries...melt the butter, add the sugar, combine them over medium heat, add the apples and reduce the sauce! Grape Nuts are PERFECT for this. Chef John, you'da man! PS: my wife loves it when I make this, and it's way better than going shopping. Happy wife=happy man.

June said...

Heyy great recipe :) I just added nuts, raisins and a dash of rum to make it even more interesting and it ended up great :)
However, when no grape nuts around any granola /oatmeal mix works well too.

Thanx for a great fall idea :)

Ally said...

i tried, but my topping turned into a big gooey chunk that wouldn't spread :( idk what i did wrong.

T-fry said...

Chef John, how would I double this recipe? (cooking times, equipment, etc.)

Chef John said...

Easiest just to make 2 with 2 dishes! You could times all ingredients by 2 and do in a bigger dish also. Would take longer, nut just keep an eye on it.

Rick said...

When I dumped the apples into the "caramel sauce", the sauce instantly seized into 3-inch long, thick "turds".

We saved the recipe, by pulling those from the pan, melting them to become sauce, and adding back into the pan of apples.

Tyler Festa said...

Would this topping work for a berry crisp?