One of my favorite things about the fall season is the abundance of apples. Specifically, Honeycrisp apples. If you’ve never had one, do your palate a favor and try one ASAP. Honeycrisp apples are juicy, light and delicately sweet. In a word, refreshing.
Apple crisp is a go-to fall dessert but I wanted to change things up just a bit and pair the sweetness of the Honeycrisp with the tartness of a cranberry. Cranberries are really versatile and worthy of being on any menu year round.
Normally, I would peel apples for a pie or dessert. But I was feeling adventurous and decided to leave the skin on to see if it would add a layer of flavor. To be honest, the apple slices were so thin that by the time the dish came out of the oven I couldn’t tell the peels were left on. So while it didn’t add to the flavor profile, it did save me a lot of prep time to skip the peeling process. Still a win!
Do you have a favorite kind of apple to bake with? I’d love any recommendations on what I should bake with next. Until then remember to bake like you mean it!
Rustic Honeycrisp Apple & Cranberry Crisp with Salted Caramel
3 medium Honeycrisp apples, cored and sliced
2 cups cranberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups instant oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons salted caramel (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or use non-stick spray an 8 x 8 baking dish.
In large bowl, combine apple slices, cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, corn starch, flour and nutmeg until well coated. Fill the baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix the topping ingredients (except salted caramel) until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over fruit mixture. If using salted caramel, drizzle over top of crumble.
Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until fruit is tender. Cool at least 20 - 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any uneaten portion for up to several days, covered with air-tight wrapping.
I call this a rustic apple crisp, in part because I left the apple peel on the apples. If you prefer to peel that apples, that works too. But I've found you really don't notice the peel if you slice the apple thinly. And it's much easier prep!
Recently, the folks at Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts invited me to participate in a recipe contest to create an original recipe using Mauna Loa’s new Dry Roasted Chopped Macadamia Nuts. The only rule was that macadamia nuts should be the hero ingredient, so I adapted one of my most popular brownie recipes to create a new version infused with gooey salted caramel and crunchy macadamia nut flavors.
1 1/2 cups Mauna Loa dry roasted chopped macadamia nuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan with butter.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda. Set aside.
Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add molasses and eggs to the melted butter. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Fold in the dark chocolate chunks, caramel baking chips and chopped macadamia nuts.
Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan. Lightly sprinkle the sea salt evenly over the batter. Bake for 20 minutes. The center should be slightly firm to the touch. Cool completely for about 1 hour before cutting into bars.
Holiday breakfast muffin idea: Spoon the batter into paper-lined muffin cups until about 2/3 full. Then bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes.
My friends over at The Underground in Chicago’s River North neighborhood have kindly shared the recipe for one of their special margaritas: the Salted Caramel Margarita. The Underground was named “Hottest Club” by Entertainment Weekly and “Best in the U.S.” by Nightclub and Bar Magazine, in part because it attracts red-hot performers like Katy Perry, John Mayer, and Kanye West.
Salted Caramel Margarita
• 1.5 oz avion reposado
• 1 oz mariposa
• 1 oz lime
• 2 caps vanilla
• 1.5 oz salted caramel
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Serve in a Pilsner glass and garnish with caramel salt.
Click here for more unique margarita recipes from The Underground’s sister restaurant ¡AY CHIWOWA!.