Crisp, Crumble, Pie or Tart? What is the difference? According to the previous article, it comes down to history and regions, but in the end, they are all delicious! With apple picking harvests upon us, which hot out of the oven, fall fruit dessert do you prefer? For me, I like the Crisp or the crumble- I am not a big fan of traditional pie crust, but I cannot resist the topping of a crisp or crumble. Like a coffee cake- butter with flour, and brown sugar, and sometimes oats, how can you not enjoy it? I like to empty my cabinets of random granola or oatmeal to incorporate in the topping, as well as any raisins, cranberries or dried fruits that have accumulated from other recipes during the year. In a way, my crisps and crumbles become Dump Cakes! Here is an Oat crumble that might inspire you. You can be as creative as you like and they always come out delicious. Fillings can also vary according to your preference or what is in season, or what do you have on hand at the moment? As these desserts can be prepared a la minute! Apples, pears, peaches, blueberries, etc. are all great fruits to include in your fall desserts. Enjoy them warm with a scoop of vanilla or crème caramel or even cinnamon ice cream. Yum!
If you prefer a real crust or a more structured dessert I like a Galette or Tarte Tatin. (See recipes here) They are rustic open faced pies and can be made small, individual sized or the standard pie dish size. You know when friends invite you to dinner, they often say, “bring a dessert!” I am not the best baker, but one of these look very appealing and impressive and of course, delicious too! You will surely impress your hosts who will think you worked really hard on it! Sprinkle with some confectioner’s sugar on top and it will look like you stopped at the farm stand! The secret is to keep frozen pie crust dough in your freezer and pull it out and use it as needed. It is a great “hack” for being able to make a dessert in a pinch.
Of course, the Queen of desserts for this time of the year, the classic Apple pie. What is key with apple pie is the type of apple used. If you choose a softer apple, the crust will sink as the fruit shrinks and the fruit may be mushy. If the apples are too hard, it takes longer to cook and you don’t want to burn the crust. So like Goldilocks says, you have to find the ones that are Just Right! Typical to New England style, this topic can be debated and you can find lovers and haters on either side of the hard or soft, sweet or tart varieties of apples. From what I read and it makes sense, you want a balance of tart and sweet and just vary your cooking time on the hard or soft factor. Most articles and recipes I read agree with this list, and it is interesting as all of these apples are all my favorites to eat! It is true, I do have an apple a day! My advice is cook with ingredients you like and are familiar with.
At the end of the day, all that really matters is that you bake with love; love what you eat and share that love with others. That is what entertaining with food is all about. Love. Let us share some of our love of hospitality and food with you. Call us today for your fall or holiday celebrations. It is our pleasure to assist you.
Enjoy the season! And for those observing, Have a Sweet New Year! Shanah Tovah!