An Apple Crisp a Day Keeps the Suitors Away


Editors Note: Normal people surely hate those office potlucks that are popping up every other week this time of year. But, those reading ES, well, we live for showing off. Enjoy belmontmedina’s round the world food fest.

We had a “holiday potluck” at work the other day. Because I work at a small non-profit, we’re a little on the cheap (read: poor) side. As such, in lieu of an actual holiday party, we had a potluck.

Now, usually this would raise some red flags- Becky from accounting’s mayonnaise-y pasta salad. Muriel, the crazy cat lady, offering some sort of casserole with a disturbing amount of floating cat hair.

Luckily, my office happens to be like the Model UN, which means our food selection rivaled that of the World Bank cafeteria. My boss, who is Cuban, made black beans and rice that might have been better than my mom’s. We had German apple cake, deviled eggs, wine (from the Russian, who may or may not be an alcoholic, not that I can throw stones,) and from our two native Canadians- chocolates filled with maple cream, and some sort of delicious meat pie with an unpronounceable French name. And lest I forget, one of my favorite coworkers, who is Indian, brought this classic Indian dish (vegetarian of course.) And what did I bring, you may ask? What awe-inspiring, incredibly decadent, flawlessly executed feat of culinary achievement?

I made a salad. But I did make the vinaigrette myself. And I didn’t buy bag lettuce.

Let me explain.

I had planned on dessert of some sort- maybe my famous gingerbread scones. But then the weekend happened, I went to some happy hours, watched some football , went to a Wizards game, and the next thing I know, it’s midnight on Sunday, and I’m feeling less than inspired. Besides, at least with a salad, I knew the office vegetarian could eat my contribution.

If I had the time though, I would have made Apple Cranberry Crisp. I lifted the recipe from Serious Eats, tweaked it a bit, and made it over Thanksgiving. It’s idiot-proof, delicious, and good warm (over ice cream) or cold (on a late night fridge raid).

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Peel, core, and slice about 4-5 medium apples (Honey Crisp are great). Liberally sprinkle with cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg, and a quarter cup of candied ginger (chopped if you wish). Set aside. Combine the zest and juice from half an orange, a pinch of salt, and one tablespoon of butter in a microwave dish and nuke until it melts. Add to a food processor with one bag of cranberries (rinsed and picked over) and zap until the cranberries are roughly chopped. Toss into a buttered 9-inch baking dish.

Combine one cup AP flour, half a cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, a cup of chopped pecans and a stick of cold butter. Mush together until it forms crumbs. Sprinkle over apple mixture and drizzle with a little honey and chopped almonds and bake at 375 until everything is brown and bubbly (about an hour).

You can also substitute fresh or frozen blueberries for cranberries, and panko for flour. Instead of honey, drizzle with a balsamic syrup (balsamic vinegar and sugar to taste, boil until it thickens) or pomegranate molasses.

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  • Leah December 14, 2007  

    Umm.. at my office potluck they ordered in Portillos. Those not from the midwest… Not knocking Chicago, but seriously folks.

  • gansie December 14, 2007  

    they brought in fucking HOT DOGS for your holiday party. thats a-mazing.

  • Leah December 14, 2007  

    Welcome to the midwest!

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