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Cooks Illustrated Bacon apple crisp

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#1 Plump_and_Juicy

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 11:31 PM

I had a bag of Granny Smiths that needed to be used so after searching for a couple of hours, I found this recipe from Cooks Illustrated's web site:

Skillet Apple Crisp with Maple and Bacon
Serves 6 to 8. Published September 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.

If your skillet is not oven-safe, prepare the recipe through step 4 and then transfer the filling to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Top the filling as directed and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve the apple crisp warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. We like Golden Delicious apples for this recipe, but any sweet, crisp apple, such as Honeycrisp or Braeburn, can be substituted. While rolled oats are preferable in this recipe, quick cooking oats can be substituted.

Topping 6 slices bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces 3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour 3/4 cup pecans , chopped fine 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (see note) 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon table salt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , melted Filling 3 pounds Golden Delicious apples (about 7 medium), peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (see note) 1/3 cup maple syrup 1 cup apple cider 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1. FOR THE TOPPING: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off bacon fat from skillet and discard. (Do not wash skillet.)
  • 2. Combine flour, pecans, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in butter until mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Stir in bacon. Set aside while preparing fruit filling.
  • 3. FOR THE FILLING: Toss apples and maple syrup together in large bowl; set aside. Bring cider to simmer in now-empty skillet over medium heat; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer reduced cider to bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice and set aside.
  • 4. Heat butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add apple mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until apples are beginning to soften and become translucent, 12 to 14 minutes. (Do not fully cook apples.) Remove pan from heat and gently stir in cider mixture until apples are coated.
  • 5. Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit, breaking up any large chunks. Place skillet on baking sheet and bake until fruit is tender and topping is deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes, and serve.
My substitutions: Granny Smiths instead of Yellow Delicious, more maple syrup to make up for the tartness of the apples, used frozen lemonade (3T to 4 ounces water - already reduced and I didn't have to use lemon juice. I used walnuts instead of pecans and put the pan under the broiler for about a minute (40 seconds probably would have been enough - the nuts burn). We also balled up the topping and made little hillocks instead of sprinkling it evenly.

I loved that with all the sweetness of the topping, tartness of the apples and crunchy texture, the bits of bacon really kept my attention. Salty, porky, smoked, sweet,, and tart all combined.

#2 Jill-O

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:16 AM


OK, I made this yesterday. Only had 6 apples (Braeburns) and since my cast iron skillet is a 10 incher, I put it in a Pyrex 9x13...but it didnt look like enough to fill it, so I put in my square Pyrex, instead, and that was the right size. It made the topping about an inch thick all around...nothing freakin' wrong with that!

I added some freshly grated nutmeg, because I like that with apples and cinnamon, and I thought I had bacon in my freezer, but alas, all I had was some of that Tails and Trotters smoked pork jowl. Awww. ;o) Deeeelicious.

And since we never made it to dessert last night, I popped it in a 260 degree oven this morning while making coffee. It was proclaimed a near-perfect breakfast food because it had, 'bacon,' butter, oats, pecans and fruit. Seriously great breakfast-in-bed food...

Thanks Mara!
Never give up! Never surrender!

#3 Jill-O

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:42 AM

I have been thinking about this recipe on and off for a few weeks now...I think I may need to make it again sometime soon...

Never give up! Never surrender!