Apple Crisp + Mini Apple Crisp Pies

Confession: I am not a big pumpkin spice fan. I think it smells amazing, but I really don’t go nuts for EAT ALL THINGS PUMPKIN SPICE like most of the internet does in fall. For me, it’s all about the apple crisp! I love apples, and the combination of soft baked apples with cinnamon sugar is great on it’s own. But mix that with a topping of oats and brown sugar that is a perfect balance of chewy and crisp – now I’m over the moon. This is the first year where I finally feel like I’ve perfected my apple crisp recipe, so of course I had to share so you can make your own!

Ingredients:

6 apples (this year I used Macintosh and Cortland, but it can be made with whatever is on hand)
roughly 1 tbsp lemon juice
roughly 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cups butter

*Note: This makes a LOT of topping. The crumble is my favorite part, so this will fully cover your apples with a good layer! If you like less, half the ingredients for the topping section!*

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Preheat your oven to 375F. Then start with slicing your apples and removing the skin. I do this by hand, as I broke my all in one corer, peeler, slicer shenanigans, but if you have one of those, use it! So much quicker.

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Place your apples in a 9″ pie pan and squirt with lemon juice (I don’t measure that, hence the ‘roughly’ in the ingredients). Then sprinkle on some cinnamon.

In a large bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Cut in the butter with two knives. This can be a very tedious step as it takes a bit of time, but you want it to look like a crumble. I switch between kneading the butter in with my hands for a bit, then resuming the cutting together with knives.

Place your crumble on top. I press it all down in the nooks and crannies with my fingers as I love the topping. If you halved it, you should have some apples still showing through.

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Bake for 30 minutes or until your topping is golden brown! Let cool for about 10 minutes, then serve either plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Now, that is delicious, but I wanted to try something a little different just for fun, and it turned out great! Introducing…..

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Mini Apple Crisp Pies!

They are the perfect serving size, either plain or with vanilla ice cream, and you can eat it with your hands (well, maybe not with the ice cream…).

These are so simple to make, with a few minor changes to the original recipe.

First, don’t slice your apples, cut them into 1/2 inch cube(ish) shapes. Mix with lemon juice and cinnamon in a bowl.

Then, take a store bought pie crust (or a homemade one if you’re super ambitious – I was not!) and using a 4″ circle cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough.

apple pie crisp prep

Place them in a greased muffin tin, and fill with apples. Top with crumble! A few notes: One (store bought) pie crust makes about seven mini crisp pies. Therefore, I would only use three apples vs. six, and definitely halve the topping ingredients otherwise you will have a ton of apples and crumble left over. Which you could always just make a smaller apple crisp with, so really, it’s up to you!

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Anywho, bake these for about 20 -25 minutes at 375F and you have a perfect little handheld treat!

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And by treat I mean breakfast. Yum.

Lime Mousse Pie with Homemade Blackberry Sauce

I tried out this new recipe (with my own tweaks) for our Fourth of July celebrations, and I am so glad I did! This is a fabulous summer recipe. Firstly, it’s a pie. Hard to go wrong with pie. But the flavor! Sweet and tangy lime mousse, topped with Cool Whip, blackberry sauce, and fresh blackberries is such a great combination that just screams SUMMER!! in my mouth. Yum.

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What you’ll need:

  • A ten inch graham cracker crust (I used a nine inch, and had a huge amount of filling left over, but if you only get a hold of a nine inch, just eat the extra filling. Om. Nom.)

For the mousse:

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbl lime zest
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 7-8 average sized limes)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 drops green food coloring¬†(optional – I did not add this in)
  • 2 1/2 cups Cool Whip

For the blackberry sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (I used a combo of both)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 lime juice (I did not use fresh for this but the bottled kind instead)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Normally, I would homemake my graham cracker crust, but since I had a lot of food to prep for the weekend’s festivities, I went the easy way and bought mine. Feel free to make your own.

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To make the mousse:

Start by zesting your limes (two limes gave me more than one tablespoon of zest, but I don’t think only one lime would have been enough) and then juice your limes as well. This is the longest, and most tedious part of the process. I actually don’t mind putting in the effort to squeeze out the juice – it gives it such great flavor compared to bottled!

In a medium bowl, mix together the condensed milk, lime zest, lime juice, and granulated sugar. If you are adding in food coloring, add it in now too. (Quick tangent: I actually added in blue food coloring to mine in an attempt to make it red, white, and blue for the fourth. Yay festive, right? Wrong.¬† I added in EIGHT drops and still ended up with a very greenish teal pie, haha! So I really don’t think you need the added green food coloring – the lime juice makes it nice and light green all on it’s own.)

Once thoroughly combined, cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Next fold in your Cool Whip. Now if you aren’t a Cool Whip fan, feel free to make your own with whipping cream – again, I was just going the easy route here.

Once folded together, gently spoon into the pie crust and chill for at least six hours, though I recommend at least twelve.

To make the blackberry sauce:

*Note – this makes a HUGE amount of this sauce. I still have half a mason jar of it in my fridge! I would say you could easily halve this recipe and have enough for the pie and more.*

In a medium saucepan combine the blackberries, sugar, lime juice, and cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir for two minutes more or until it has thickened a bit.

Press through a fine mesh sieve into a mason jar and discard solids. Cover and chill until serving time!

 

When the pie is ready, serve each slice with a dollop of Cool Whip, drizzle on some blackberry sauce, and top with fresh blackberries. Devour.

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Apple Crisp

The first of my many apple recipe posts just had to be apple crisp. It is my absolute favorite apple dessert. A thick crust of brown sugary oatmeal goodness on top of a baked bed of cinnamon apples. . .just to die for.

I don’t actually use a recipe when I make apple crisp – all the ones I’ve tried never end up with enough topping for my tastes. I like a THICK amount of it, not just a smidge on top of the apples. So the recipe here is a rough idea of what I use, but mine varies from batch to batch. Feel free to play with it so it’s adjusted to your tastes!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups baking oats
1/2 cup butter
5 small to medium size apples (I used Macintosh for this particular batch.)
Lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 375F.

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Start by combining your flour, sugar, and oats. Mix thoroughly – I do all this by hand instead of with a spoon as I find it mixes better overall.

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Then add in your butter, and mix up. Again, I do this by hand as I find that creates a better texture for the topping (I do use a spoon to scrape down the sides however). Once combined, set aside.

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Now it’s time to peel and slice your apples. My mom got me this Pampered Chef all in one Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer and it makes every apple-baking project about 500% more efficient than hand cutting and peeling your apples. I highly recommend the investment into this contraption. It may look like an 18th century torture device, but it is amazing. I ended up using only 5 of the apples I’d set out for the crisp, because that was what filled my pan. That’s how I measure how many to use – however many fills my 9×9 pan.

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Once the apples are in, I squirt some lemon juice on top and then sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar.

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Then place your crust on. This is yet another step I do by hand since I find it much easier to place the topping with my fingers than to try and smear it around with a spoon.

I bake mine uncovered for 30 minutes. This allows the crust to get a nice crunchy top, but still be chewy on the underside. So each bite is a fabulous combination of crunchy, chewy, and gooey apple. Mmmmmm. Definitely eat it warm – with or without ice cream. I actually prefer apple crisp without ice cream; I save it for the pie!

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Hope you enjoy some apple crisp this season!
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Rainbow Cupcakes

A quick blog update – I finally added some new work to the Pure Inspiration page – please go take a look, there is so much awesome art there! Hopefully there will be more soon – I need to carve out a chunk of my time in August dedicated to finding more awesome art!

This past Sunday I celebrated one of my dearest friends 25th birthday. She’s now joined me in the Quarter of a Century Club. We’ve been best friends since we were 11 – it’s crazy to think that it’s been 14 years!! Anywho, I just had to make her some rainbow cupcakes – I’ve been dying to try them out. They’re a little time consuming, but extremely easy to do, and so much fun to look at when they’re finished! So let’s dive right in.

Ingredients 

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (I use a vegetable oil spread, and it works just fine)
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk (I ended up adding a couple tablespoons more for a better consistency)
Icing dyes in all the colors of the rainbow (I would definitely use icing dyes, NOT standard food coloring. These give you extremely vibrant color, whereas regular food color comes out very dull I find)

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In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking powder together.

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In a larger bowl, mix butter and sugar

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and whisk until creamy.

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Add in eggs and vanilla.

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Mix until smooth.

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Add half your flour and milk, and stir until combined.

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Add in the remaining halves of the flour and milk, then stir until thoroughly combined. If your batter is a bit thick (mine was at this point) add in milk until desired consistency is reached.

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Divide batter into six bowls. (I busted out my camping bowls in case the icing dye stained the bowls – it did not just as an FYI.)

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Mix in about 1/8 -1/4 tsp of each color dye and combine thoroughly.

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Lay a layer of your violet batter on the bottom, making sure it spreads to the edges of the cups. (I use silicone cups as they are reusable – less waste and saves money!). Then, keep layering each color on top in backwards rainbow order (ie; blue next, then green, etc). I used about a half tablespoon for each layer.

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All the colors layered in – ready for the oven.
Bake at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes.
Let cool completely before frosting them!

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The finished product! So vibrant – I just love them.

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Ready to eat!
Unfortunately I was in a super rush when these were done and I totally forgot to take pictures of them all together before frosting them. DOH. Also, as you may have noticed, I didn’t have my little miss help with these. Although the dye doesn’t stain dishes, it absolutely does stain skin and clothes (I looked like I dipped my hand in a rainbow at the end of this). And while I don’t mind mess, that’s pushing it! So I’d leave the little ones out of this recipe. These do not stain once baked though, so you don’t have to worry about rainbow teeth!

So as you can see, these are pretty simple and just SO CUTE! If my little miss has an art party for her birthday theme this year, I’m totally making them again. They are just vibrant and fun.

The party was totally stellar, as always. A great gathering of friends, with some great food to boot. The birthday girl is into archery, so she had a course set up for her archer friends to shoot with her, and I tagged along for photo ops.

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The birthday girl being a total badass.

Until next time!
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