Last week we officially welcomed the first full day of autumn, so you know what that means — crisps, crumbles, and pies made with apples, with fall’s favorite fruit. From a culinary standpoint, there’s little difference in an apple crisp and an apple crumble except for the topping, either an oat-based streusel or one made with a flour, butter, and brown sugar mix. This “Celtic” version adds a splash of whiskey and a sprinkling of golden raisins to the filling, and if you like, you can even add a few walnuts or pecans. Top with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or custard — what’s not to love? You’ll find recipes like this in my newest cookbook “Favorite Flavors of Ireland.” To buy signed copies, with free shipping until October 31, visit www.irishcook.com.
CELTIC APPLE CRISP
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) Irish oatmeal
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup Irish whiskey
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith or Braeburn apples
1/3 cup sugar
1. Make topping. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, oatmeal, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. Make filling. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring whiskey and water to boil. Add raisins and vanilla, stir, and then remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square glass baking pan.
4. Transfer raisins and their liquid to a large bowl. Peel, core, and slice apples; toss with sugar and raisins. Spoon half of apples into prepared dish, top with half of the bread crumbs mixture; repeat with remaining apples and bread crumbs mixture.
5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until apples are tender and topping is crisp and browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.