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Just add ice cream

Choose-your-topping crisp

| 08 Aug 2019 | 02:54

Apple picking time is upon us. I adore jumping on search engines to research which varieties will be available when. The first or second week of September offers Prime Reds, large, solid, ruby in color with cotton white flesh. McIntosh are also in the mix, sturdy and fantastic for use in pies, applesauce or to eat right off the tree. For this recipe, I go with Granny Smith, tart, sweet and classic; a favorite to pair with red cherries. Cherries ripen slightly earlier, from mid-June through the end of July, so I like to freeze them in order to have them around for baking throughout the fall. Luscious and rich, this crisp is made to be topped with ice cream, non-dairy or dairy, chocolate, vanilla, the sky is the limit. Many people have changing palates and dietary requirements of late, so I’m including a gluten-free version. If using small porcelain ramekins or ceramic cocottes, not a lot of extra work is required to satisfy guests with a food allergy without compromising on deliciousness.

Choose-your-topping crisp

Serves 4


For the fruit: 4 small Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and rough chopped

¾ cup cherries, pitted and sliced in half

Juice of half a lemon

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

For traditional crisp:

¾ cup flour

½ cup refined sugar

½ cup butter, softened

Sprinkle of powdered sugar

Sprinkle of sea salt if using unsalted butter

For gluten-free version:

½ cup plain oats

¼ cup gluten free flour

4 Tbsp. packed brown sugar

4 Tbsp. olive oil

Sprinkle of sea salt

Sprinkle of powdered sugar


Preheat over to 400 degrees. Combine apples, cherries, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Toss and set aside to meld. Decide which crisp you would like to cook, or if trying both, you might half the amount of each ingredient for separate toppings. Either way, the method is similar. Combine all topping ingredients in a small mixing bowl and blend. For the traditional crumble, using a fork may be helpful to break up the butter and blend. Spread crumble evenly over top of fruit then bake for about 20-25 minutes or until crumble is nicely browned and crispy. Let cool slightly and then sift powdered sugar on top.