5 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
3/4 c. flour
Scant 1/2 c granulated sugar
Scant 1/2 c light brown sugar, packed (I used Sugar in the Raw because I was out of brown sugar)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c oatmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced (Once it's cut, place in freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10 inch oval baking dish. Combine the apples with the zest, juice, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.
When the apples are mixed in with the spices they should look like this.
To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an food processor with a steel blade (can also be done in a stand mixer or by hand). Pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. It should looks like the picture below. Scatter evenly over the apples.
Place the crisp on a sheet pan covered with a piece of parchment paper and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Make sure to use the baking sheet with parchment paper to catch any spills before you have sugar all over the bottom of your oven.Caramel Sauce
1/4 c water
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/3 c heavy cream
In a pot, at least 1-quart sized, with a heavy bottom, pour the water and the sugar. Swirl the pot to combine the ingredients. Place over low heat and stir occasionally until the sugar is melted. When the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring, and raise the heat to medium high. Dip a pastry brush into a glass of water to wash down any crystals of sugar that form on the side of the pot while the sugar solution cooks. Swirl occasionally to make sure the sugar cooks evenly. Boil under amber colored. Be patient, it can take almost 15 minutes, but once it starts to brown it gets dark quickly. Check for desired color by placing a small amount on a white paper towel.
Just beginning to bubble.
Finally seeing some color.
Two minutes later.
After adding the cream.
Stages of caramel colors on a paper towel.
Once it's the desired color, remove from heat. Pour in the heavy cream all in once (it will bubble violently but if you use a big enough pot you'll be fine) and stir till well combined. Set aside to cool. Once cool, but before it gets too hard (appx. 10 minutes) drizzle half over the crisp. Reserve the remainder for candies or serving over ice cream later.
Make sure to clean everything after making the caramel as soon as the items are cool enough to handle, otherwise you might as well throw them away. Because this caramel has cream it will be a little softer, but still a pain in the arse to clean up.