This guest post is from our favorite ladies, Natalie and Holly, over at The Modern Proper. Their mission is to reinvent proper for the modern homemaker, one delicious meal at a time. Check out more of their delicious recipes here.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about what makes a home a home, baked goods play a starring role. I’m not sure why sweet, warm things from the oven take such a prominent role in my ideal of domestic bliss. My mother wasn’t a baker, so it doesn’t come from my own fond memories. My extended family is Italian, and while they can throw down a mean eggplant parm or homemade ravioli, I have vivid memories of being bribed to eat my great-grandmother’s painfully dry cookies. And yet, here I am trying to force myself to be a baker, which naturally, I’m just not. I think somewhere deep in my subconscious I have the lurking fear I’ll have failed as a mom if when my kids go off to college they can’t fondly recall at least a few baked goods I made with routine and excellence. Kinda ridiculous, I know, but there you have it.
I want the smells wafting from the oven to fill my home, I want seasonal goodies for my family to look forward to, and yes I want something sweet for myself once the house quiets down for the night (I’m not entirely unselfish). I’ve adopted the tradition of making cinnamon rolls just before Christmas, which is an all day, really stressful event for me. It’s also really fun and something the kids and I are always overly proud of. But that still leaves three other seasons requiring their signature dessert. Summer can get by with ice cream, because really, no one’s gonna mind that, and spring will have to fend for itself when the time comes. For now though, I’m all about the apples…because FALL.
I dare you to find something that more effectively fills the air with the scent of fall and nostalgia like apples and cinnamon do (and because I’m all about earning those mom brownie points, nostalgia matters!). This recipe for caramel apple crisp hits all the important spots: it’s rich, it’s seasonal, and it’s oh so simple. Yes, SIMPLE. I love how the tart flavor of the Granny Smith apples shines through and plays off the creamy caramelized sugars, and retain just the right amount of bite. I also love that this dish can be made right in my cast iron skillet, and requires very little of the natural baking ability I seem to be lacking. Hot from the oven and scooped into a mug over some vanilla ice cream, it’s just perfection. If cozy had a taste, it would taste like this. I’ve already decided this crisp will be my new fall go-to dessert. If I make it enough my kids will be forced into thinking I’m the best mom ever, and will cry when they have to leave me in 13-15 years, right? If that fails at least I’ll get to enjoy it in the meantime. Win, win.
Apple Skillet Crisp
5 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 ⅓ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter
⅓ cup melted butter
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 375°. In a medium sized mixing bowl coat apples with ⅓ cup brown sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon. Thinly slice 3 tbsp of butter and layer in the bottom of a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Pour the apples over the butter.
In another mixing bowl combine remaining sugar, cinnamon, flour and melted butter until a fully incorporated. Using your fingers crumble over the top of the apples. Bake on the center rack for 1 hour or until bubbling. I think it goes without saying this should be served with vanilla ice cream.