It’s November!!!!!!!!!! The most cozy, wonderful, nourishing month of the year. Am I right?!
Yeah, I’ve heard not.
Two years ago, I learned that not everyone relishes November with as much enthusiasm, coziness, and unbound joy as me. A handful of folks actually told me I was completely wrong about my passion for November. They said it’s gray and brown. That there’s election drama at the beginning of the month and family drama at the end of it. They said the days are shorter and daylight savings sucks. Blah blah blah.
I’ve heard the arguments. I’ve acknowledged the haters. And (after two years of sulking when I first found all this out) I’ve 100% let it go. November is awesome.
Yes, it can be a little gray and brown, but without all those leaves to distract us, we can hone in on other lovely things– like the bluffs often hidden from view underneath all those leaves or the powerful curves of a majestic oak, not to mention all the wonder left to better view at the ground level (dried prairie grasses and flowers are one of my favorite Wisconsin scenes).
Yes, earlier evenings can be a bummer, but they can also provide a great excuse to get cozy, have more fires, enjoy our homes more, and spend more time in the kitchen. Plus, who doesn’t love a good annual push into trying to be a morning person?
As for all the November drama? Well, allow me to remind you that tension and stress simply mean there’s something important for us to worry about in the first place. Anxiety and worry are a gift granted to those who care: those who are invested in something bigger than themselves. Sure, too much anxiety and stress isn’t fun, but a little bit of election tension and family conflict just makes us feel alive, right? November’s great, right?
Okay, good. Glad we got there together. Now, to the relevant material.
In honor of my blissful birthday month and the bounty of apple seconds I have on my counter from Atoms to Apples, I have created the world’s best apple crisp, and no, I do not believe that’s an overstatement. My darlings, it. is. perfection.
What makes it so dang amazing? What makes it the best?
Honestly, it’s a bit of a mystery to me. I know I’m a great recipe developer and all, but I didn’t even go crazy here. I didn’t even think I was making a blog recipe when I stumbled upon this wonderfulness. I was just minding my own business, making apple crisp to respond to a (very intense) craving I was having at the time. I did not set out to make the world’s best apple crisp, but alas, here we are.
I think it’s the addition of brown butter and maple syrup that makes this recipe so special. Or perhaps the very intentional decision to make sure the apple to crumble ratio was evenly matched. Or maybe it was the fact that I left the apple peels on. Sure, I made this decision out of laziness, but I can’t deny the textural element it gives to the final product.
Anyhow, I can’t act like some authority here. The greatness of this apple crisp just happened. But I can tell you it is the best apple crisp I’ve ever eaten in my life and what I’m going to make every single time I have apples that need to get used in my fridge. And I suggest you take an hour this weekend to ensure you do the same.
MAPLE BROWN BUTTER APPLE CRISP
Takes 50 minutes
Serves 6-8 (or 4 for dinner)
11 tablespoons butter, chilled, divided
5 cups diced apples (about 4 large or 6 small)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon, divided
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup diced pecans
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place 3 tablespoons butter in a 9×9 baking dish. Place on stove top and melt over medium heat. Once melted, reduce to medium low and brown. This should take about 5 minutes. The butter will foam, then turn clear, then begin to brown and smell nutty. You want it toasted but not burned so remove from heat once the color is golden.
- Add apple chunks, maple syrup, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon to the baking dish. Toss gently with a spatula to combine.
- In a large bowl, combine remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon with flour, oats, pecans and salt.
- Cut remaining 8 tablespoons of chilled butter into small pieces and add to bowl with flour and oats. Cut in with a pastry blender or two forks until the butter pieces are small and well incorporated into the crumbly mixture. pour this mixture over apples and press down gently so it’s even.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until crumble topping is golden brown.