smoker apple crisp

Outdoor cooking is becoming super popular.  I have joined the excitement and have a new vertical smoker.  Cooking with a smoker has many options, including direct and indirect cooking.  To become more familiar with the process, I purchased a great cookbook titled, “Secrets to Smoking,” by Bill Gillespie.

Everything that I needed to know before using my smoker for the first time was included in this book.  I learned about the different types of woods, chips, types of charcoal to use, and general operation of any smoker.  There is skill to controlling the temperature, adjusting the vents, monitoring the air flow and most of all cooking on several levels of a smoker at once. Smokers can be fueled by electricity, pellets, or charcoal.

I chose a charcoal smoker and used this apple crisp recipe to learn how to keep the temperature moderated, while working the technique of “low and slow” cooking. I adapted the recipe from Bill’s cookbook. changing and adding a few ingredients.

I also learned that if you are “looking”, you are “not cooking.”  This recipe was a huge success and took one and one half hours to cook at 225 degrees on the upper level of my new smoker.  There is a trust that develops with the first recipe cooked.  As I said, I was not peeking, but trusted that my dish would be done by monitoring the temperature of the smoker.

I am now committed to using the smoker this whole summer for a variety of different types of dishes. Here is a great recipe to try if you are a seasoned smoker or if this is your first time.

I peeled, cored and sliced 3 large Granny Smith apples and placed in a pan suitable for cooking on a grill.  Then, I added and mixed these ingredients into a bowl–3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, and 1/3 cup unsalted butter which had been softened.

Place the topping over the apples in the baking pan.  After bringing the smoker up to 225 degrees, place the pan on the top cooking grate and allow to cook on its’ own for 1 and 1 1/2 hours.

I filled the water pan once prior to cooking and allowed the smoker to come up to temperature.  The water was totally used when the dish was complete. I used both sets of vents to keep the temperature even throughout the cooking process.  This was not a challenge at all, and the outcome was delicious. Serve while hot with whipped cream or ice cream. Oh–so yummy and cooked outdoors!

Warm Pears and oranges

Tender pears and Mandarin oranges prove to be a delightful dessert when warmed in a slow cooker.  As I have shared in previous posts, fruit desserts are some of my favorites. Of course, they can also be served with a slice of pound cake, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, or even vanilla Greek yogurt.  This recipe is one to try before the warmer weather sneaks up on us this Spring.  The comforting flavors of this recipe can be enjoyed throughout the Fall and Winter months.

Here is how I make this recipe–gather these ingredients:  1 can sliced pears with juice, 1 can mandarin  oranges without juice, 3 cinnamon sticks, and 2 fresh Bosc pears peeled and sliced.  Additional fresh pears or canned pears could be substituted for each ingredient.

In a small bowl, combine these ingredients:  1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 Tablespoons melted margarine.

Place the first set of ingredients in the slow cooker, and then cover with the ingredients from the bowl.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours.  Serve warm. I topped each serving with whipped cream and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Yummy.

October apple crisp in a slow cooker

Fall is here in Michigan, which allows me to welcome back my slow cooker for everyday recipes.  I have two different Cuisinart cookers, as they accommodate different recipes throughout the year. The multi-cooker is a larger version of the traditional slow cooker.

This recipe makes about eight small servings of apple crisp and I was able to go outside and enjoy the Fall weather while this one was cooking indoors unsupervised. It took about 3 1/2 hours for this mixture to achieve tender and delicious apples.  I made my own fresh vanilla ice cream too, or it could simply be served with whipped cream.

To make this recipe, gather these ingredients:  5 medium Gala apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup Quaker oats, 1/2 cup sugar free butterscotch pudding mix dry, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/3 cup stick margarine cut into cubes.

Cut, core and peel the apples, and place in the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Sprinkle over the apples.  Cover and cook on low for at least 3 hours and check the consistency of the apples.  If not tender, continue to cook for another 1/2 hour. Delicious served warm, but this recipe easily will refrigerate and can be served several days later warmed in a microwave.  Tastes like Fall to me.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

 

Hasselback Apples

Fruit desserts are some of my all-time favorites.  One of the easiest fruit desserts has to be this apple recipe.  Be sure to choose a Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apple, as some of the other softer flesh apples will not hold up during the cooking process.  I found this recipe last year in Cooking Light magazine and have moved it up in my list of tasty simple desserts.

Decide how many people will be served, and make the according number of apples, with one per guest as the standard serving size.  In less than one hour, everyone will have a heated dessert served with either vanilla ice cream or whipped cream that they will forever remember.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees.  Peel, core and halve each apple, and then place cut side down in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Make even slices throughout the apple, making certain not to go all the way down to the baking dish.

Next combine an equal number of tablespoons of sugar and butter, along with 1/2 the amount of cinnamon.  Brush this mixture over the apples.  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until the apples are tender.

Finally, combine 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons rolled oats, 1 teaspoon flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.   Fan open the apple halves and spoon this mixture on top of the apples.  Bake again for another 10 minutes.  To finish the cooking process, broil for 2 minutes and serve warm.

This is a cozy dessert.  Serve when you have lots of time to savor the flavor and the warmth of the fruit. Yum.

 

All kinds of apples

Apples are everywhere.  The season was perfect again for a great harvest in Michigan.  We usually take a trip to several apple farms during apple season in September and October.  I love to see baskets of fresh apples and plan my apple desserts for the coming weeks.

We took a trip just before the weekend to check out the apples locally, and it was so much fun.  And besides trying to decide what variety of apple to purchase, I was reminded about apple usage while I was shopping.

Here is a sign that was posted to help shoppers make the correct selection for their apple purchases.

The apples were plentiful and I purchased a bag to make my crock pot ginger apple crumble.   I will be posting that recipe later this week.

So much fun for a Fall day.  

Slow cooker dessert: apple butterscotch crisp

Here is an easy recipe for a slow cooker dessert that I happened to try this past weekend.  The fall flavors appealed to me as well as the ease of preparation. The taste was excellent and comparable to any of my baked apple crisp or cobbler recipes.  It is nice to be able to prepare the ingredients and not think about the dessert for 4.5 to 5 hours.  The slow cooker does the work and the result is  equal to any other baked dessert I have prepared in the past.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I found this recipe in one of Jonnie Downing’s books, as she is the website editor for CrockpotNinja.com.

To make the crisp, assemble the following ingredients:  3-4 large Granny Smith or other firm apples, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup quick cook oats, 3/4 light brown sugar, 1 package instant butterscotch pudding mix, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 stick cold unsalted butter.

Spray the slow cooker with vegetable spray.  Place the sliced and peeled apples in the cooker first.  In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, while cutting in the margarine into small crumbles.  Sprinkle this mixture over the sliced apples.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Cover and cook on low for up to 5 hours.  Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream topped with a caramel drizzle.  Easy, simple and delicious.

For this recipe, I had the opportunity to use the new Bru Joy dual-blade stainless steel julienne peeler, which is professional in every measure.  It is sturdy, strong, and ultra-sharp.  In fact, I used my mandoline glove to protect my hand during apple peeling.  I am very impressed with this product. I can’t see myself using any other vegetable/fruit peeler except this one again.

For more information, please see this link:  http://www.amazon.com/Bru-Joy-Ultra-Sharp-Vegetable-Stainless/dp/B00K5I73YS/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417461890&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=bru+joy+stainless+steel+vegetable+pepler#customerReviews

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES