brown butter vanilla bean apple crisp

November 15, 2012 | 2 comments

brown butter vanilla bean apple crisp

I’ve been MIA lately, but you understand, right? A teetering tottering tower of wanna-be toddler — but still very much my baby — can be quite a handful. All eyes, hands, arms and legs must be on call, at the ready to save all our valuable things like the TV we keep meaning to mount to the wall. Baby proofing should be our top priority though we insist we can postpone for another couple of weeks. Until, you know, he is really mobile and not wobbling and tumbling around.  In between the TV save, the leather couch zerberts, and the banging of a little toy hammer into the wall leaving permanent marks and dents, I was able to squeeze in a delightful fall crisp. Priorities, of course, means crisp comes before baby proofing. Don’t tell my husband.

mix of apples

vanilla bean

million of vanilla specks

I like to fill fall with braises and coq au vins and pumpkin muffins, giving ourselves an abundance of comfort food to prepare us for the dreary, dead, doldrums of winter that inevitably lie ahead. Despite my cooking redirection to the slow and hearty, the fiery red leaves that fall to the ground, and the dip in temperature that demands a thermostat check, fall is never fall until the apples come out. Until an apple pie or buckle or strudel or crisp is baking in the oven and wafting the official scent of fall around our house permeating every crevice with its decent. Until wassail is gently gurgling on the stove, or an overly large sweater clad me is dipping apple wedges into warm gooey caramel, or the tot is eating perfect applesauce — that is when fall has officially been recognized and embraced in our house. Luckily this year I squeezed it in before Thanksgiving.

peels

suar and spicing the apples

plenty of brown butter

Since this crisp is probably going to be the only appley deliciousness I am able to pump out of my kitchen this fall, I wanted to bump it up a notch. The usual lightly sweetened and spiced crisp is never lacking, but this year I wanted to go all out. Gourmet proved once again they should never have left their limelight and has bestowed upon us the answer to an over the top (but our now go-to) apple crisp. It boasts brown butter in the the apple filling as well as the pecan-oat topping and is speckled heavily with vanilla bean. Of course, I had to oversee a more appropriate ratio (read: a double portion) of crumbly streuseled lid to apples — you can thank me later. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking we eat crisp for any other reason than the crispy, crumbly topping.

pecan, brown sugared, oatmeal topping

apple crisp with brown butter and vanilla bean

Any how, our playroom is being excavated this weekend from all the other household construction projects that currently reside within its walls and hopefully with a new baby gate, some outlet covers and a plethora of magic erasers on hand, I can resume my duties here, with all you sweet, patient friends, and a nice Thanksgivingy side dish to share. But until then enjoy every last crumb of your new favorite crisp. Bon Appetit!

brown butter vanilla bean apple crisp

Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Apple Crisp
Adapted from Gourmet

Serves 6

Topping:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole pecans
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted, browned and cooled

Filling:
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Dash of cinnamon
2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thin wedges
2 tablespoons brandy

Topping: Combine flour, rolled oats, pecans, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Add browned butter and pulse just until blended. Coarsely crumble in a shallow baking pan and chill at least 1 hour.

Filling: Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a small heavy saucepan, then add vanilla bean pod and butter and cook over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until butter is browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

While butter browns, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add apples and brandy and toss to combine.

Discard vanilla pod, then toss butter with apple mixture. Spoon filling into individual gratin dishes or a 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle with topping. Cover crisp tightly with foil and place on a shallow baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, then rotate baking sheet, remove foil, and bake until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool to warm or room temperature on a wire rack.

Do ahead: The topping can be chilled, covered, up to 2 days in advance.  The crisps can be assembled (but not baked) 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Conversions & Equivalents

Volume | Baking | Metric | Pan Size | Temperature | Oven | Other

1/2 teaspoon = 30 drops
1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon OR 60 drops
3 teaspoon = 1 tablespoon or 1/2 fluid ounce
1/2 tablespoon = 1 1/2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons or 1/2 fluid ounce
2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup or 1 fluid ounce
3 tablespoons = 1 1/2 fluid ounces
4 tablespoons = 1 1/4 cup or 2 fluid ounces
5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup or 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup or 4 fluid ounces
10 2/3 tablespoons = 2/3 cup or 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup or 6 fluid ounces
16 tablespoons = 1 cup or 8 fluid ounces or 1/2 pint
1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons or 1 fluid ounce
1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons or 2 fluid ounces
1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
3/8 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons or 4 fluid ounces
2/3 cup = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
5/8 cup = 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons
3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons or 6 fluid ounces
7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
1 cup = 16 tablespoons or 1/2 pint or 8 fluid ounces
2 cups = 1 pint or 16 fluid ounces
1 pint = 2 cups or 16 fluid ounces
1 quart = 2 pints or 4 cups or 32 fluid ounces
1 gallon = 4 quarts or 8 pints or 16 cups or 128 fluid ounces
FLOUR
1 cup all-purpose flour = 5 ounces or 142 grams
1 cup cake flour = 4 ounces or 113 grams
1 cup whole wheat flour = 5 1/2 ounces or 156 grams
SUGAR
1 cup granulated white sugar = 7 ounces or 198 grams
1 cup packed brown sugar = 7 ounces or 198 grams
1 cup confectioners sugar = 4 ounces or 113 grams
COCOA POWDER
1 cup cocoa powder = 3 ounces or 85 grams
BUTTER
4 tablespoons = 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup or 2 ounces
8 tablespoons = 1 stick or 1/2 cup or 4 ounces
16 tablespoons = 2 sticks or 1 cup or 8 ounces
32 tablespoons = 4 sticks or 2 cups or 1 pound
1/4 teaspoon = 1.23 milliliters
1/2 teaspoon = 2.46 milliliters
3/4 teaspoon = 3.7 milliliters
1 teaspoon = 4.93 milliliters
1 1/4 teaspoon = 6.16 milliliters
1 1/2 teaspoon = 7.39 milliliters
1 3/4 teaspoon = 8.63 milliliters
2 teaspoon = 9.86 milliliters
1 tablespoon = 14.79 milliliters
2 tablespoons = 29.57 milliliters
1/4 cup = 59.15 milliliters
1/2 cup = 118.3 milliliters
1 cup = 236.59 milliliters
2 cups or 1 pint = 473.18 milliliters
3 cups = 709.77 milliliters
4 cups or 1 quart = 946.36 milliliters
1/4 teaspoon = 1.23 milliliters
4 quarts or 1 gallon = 3.785 liters
PAN SIZE VOLUME CAN SUBSTITUTE WITH
1 8-inch round cake pan 4 cups

1 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 9-inch round cake pan

1 9-inch pie plate

2 8-inch round cake pans 8 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

1 10-inch springform pan

1 9-inch round cake pan 6 cups

1 8-inch round cake pan

1 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

2 9-inch round cake pans 12 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 8-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 11x7-inch baking dish

1 10-inch springform pan

1 10-inch round cake pan 11 cups

2 8-inch round cake pan

1 9-inch tube pan

1 10-inch springform pan

2 10-inch round cake pans 22 cups

5 8-inch round cake pans

3 or 4 9-inch round cake pans

2 10-inch spring form pan

9-inch tube pan 12 cups

2 8-inch round cake pans

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

10-inch tube pans 16 cups

3 9-inch round cake pans

2 10-inch pie plates

4 8-inch pie plates

2 9x5-inch loaf pans

2 8-inch square baking dishes

2 9-inch square baking dishes

10-inch bundt pan 12 cups

1 9x13-inch baking dish

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 11x7-inch baking dishes

1 10-inch springform pan

11x7x2-inch baking dish 6 cups

1 8-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch round cake pan

9x13x2-inch baking dish 15 cups

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

3 8-inch round cake pans

1 10x15-inch jellyroll pan

10x15x1-inch jellyroll pan 15 cups

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

2 8-inch round cake pan

1 9x13-inch baking dish

9x5-inch loaf pan 8 cups

1 10-inch pie plate pan

1 8-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch square baking dish

8x4-inch loaf pan 6 cups

1 8-inch round cake pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

9-inch springform pan 10 cups

1 10-inch round cake pan

1 10-inch spring form pan

2 8-inch round cake pans

2 9-inch round cake pans

10-inch springform pan 12 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 9-inch tube pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 11x7-inch baking dishes

2 8-inch round cake pans

8-inch square baking dish 8 cups

1 9x5-inch loaf pan

2 8-inch pie plates

9-inch square baking dish 8 cups

1 11x7-inch baking dish

1 9x5-inch loaf pan

2 8-inch pie plate

Water Freezes 32°F 0°C
  40°F 4.4°C
  50°F 10°C
  60°F 15.6°C
  70°F 21.1°C
  80°F 26.7°C
  90°F 32.2°C
  100°F 37.8°C
  110°F 43.3°C
  120°F 48.9°C
  130°F 54.4°C
  140°F 60°C
  150°F 65.6°C
  160°F 71.1°C
  170°F 76.7°C
  180°F 82.2°C
  190°F 87.8°C
  200°F 93.3°C
Water Boils 212°F 100°C
  250°F 121°C
  300°F 149°C
  350°F 177°C
  400°F 205°C
  450°F 233°C
  500°F 260°C
275°F = 140°C or Gas Mark 1
300°F = 150°C or Gas Mark 2
325°F = 165°C or Gas Mark 3
350°F = 180°C or Gas Mark 4
375°F = 190°C or Gas Mark 5
400°F = 200°C or Gas Mark 6
425°F = 220°C or Gas Mark 7
450°F = 230°C or Gas Mark 9
475°F = 240°C or Gas Mark 10

And for conversions that are not listed I found a great conversion calculator here!

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  1. ConnieTindell  Thursday November 15, 2012

    Looks Delish! Will make!

  2. I love apple crisps! This sounds great with the addition of vanilla!

 

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