Friday, October 23, 2009

Polenta Pecan Apple Crisp

It isn't fall until I've eaten some apple crisp.  This makes a nice, cobbler-y type topping and is, of course, amazing eaten hot with ice cream.  Or cold for breakfast.

Not that this blog necessarily endorses ice cream for breakfast.  At least not all the time.

Also, does anyone know the difference between a crisp and a cobbler?  I use the terms interchangeably, but I could be missing some fundamental dichotomy.  

Adapted from, as usual, from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook:

For the crust, part 1:
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. yellow cornmeal
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
pinch of salt (1/8-1/4 t)
3 T butter
1/3 c. half-and-half or light cream

For the crust, part 2:
1/2 c. pecans, chopped
2 T brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon

For the filling:
8 cups peeled, sliced cooking apples (6-8 medium)
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T lemon juice
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 c. cold water
1 T cornstarch

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients of part 1 of the crust.  Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly-looking.  In a separate small bowl, combine part 2 ingredients. 

In a large saucepan, combine the filling ingredients except for water and cornstarch.  Bring to a boil, stirring often, then reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Combine cold water and cornstarch; stir into pan.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Add the half-and-half to topping mixture, stirring until just moistened.  Transfer filling to a 2-quart baking dish set on a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan.  (That bit is important, since the filling will bubble over while cooking.  If you've put a pan underneath, great!  If, like me, you haven't, you will wonder what could be burning only a few minutes after putting the crisp in the oven.  And then you will need to clean your oven.)

Drop topping into small mounds onto filling; sprinkle with pecan mixture.

Bake in a 375 oven for 30-35 minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream. 


  1. Based on my experiences with cobblers and crisps, cobblers have a more biscuit-y, cake-y topping, while crips have an oatmeal/polenta/flour + butter and sugar crispy crust.

  2. From my experience, a cobbler has a crust on top, while a crisp has a streussel-like topping. You're crisp was super yummy, by the way!

  3. Sounds right on both counts... I think that this may be more of a cobbler than a crisp, then.