Tartine Apple Crisp

This is the only recipe I've made from the acclaimed Tartine cookbook. But that's ok. According to internet chatter, it's the best one in the book. I've made it half a dozen times now, the last time substituting gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour.  I didn't actually get a chance to try the gluten-free version (gone in 15 minutes), but the office chatter was, "YUM!"

The topping is unusual.  You make a cookie-like dough, then using your hands, scoop and flatten a ball of dough and lay it on top of the apples.  Bakes up nice and crackly. The dough is also quite adaptable. I've experimented with the butter and sugar amounts, reducing by up to half and it still turns out delicious. (The more butter you use, the crispier the topping.) So I've given a range in the recipe. Go ahead and tweak based on your own personal preferences.

Finally, it's fun to use a variety of apples for more complex flavor and texture - some turning into applesauce and some keeping their shape. I grow Pink Pearl, Cinnamon Spice and Cox's Orange Pippin, but more common varieties at your local markets might include:
  • Tarter apples: Jonathan/Jonagold, Pink Lady, Pippin, Granny Smith
  • Sweeter apples:  Gala, Golden Delicious, Braeburn
  • Apples that hold their shape after baking: Jonagold, Gala, Granny Smith, Braeburn
  • Softer apples (after baking): Cortland, Golden Delicious, Pippin

Tartine Apple Crisp 
Adapted from Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson
Makes one 9" x 13" crisp

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Peel (some or all, your preference), core and slice (vary thickness for more texture):
3-4 lbs assorted apples

In a 9" x 13" baking dish, mix apple slices together with: 
1/8 - 1/4 cup sugar
lemon zest, from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

To make the topping, place in stand mixer bowl and using the whisk attachment, beat until smooth:
4 oz - 8 oz (1 - 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold - cut into large chunks
3/4 - 1 cup granulated sugar (5.25oz/150g - 7oz/200g)

Add and mix just until mixture comes together in a smooth dough:
1 1/4 cup flour (6 oz/170g)
2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

To top the crisp, scoop up palm-sized balls of dough, flatten each ball into 1/4" thick rounds (doesn't have to be perfectly round) and place on top of apples.  Cover as much of the apples as possible; a few gaps are ok as they'll allow steam to escape during baking.

Bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.  If top is getting too dark before crisp is done, cover with aluminum foil.  Let cool on wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  According to the book, the crisp keeps in the refrigerator for up to one week, though I doubt you'll ever have to test the accuracy of that claim!

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