In spite of the fact that I love to have apple pie around the 4th of July, I find that I often think of apple desserts as fall desserts. This is probably because there are far fewer fresh fruits to choose from at the end of the year when you compare the season with spring, when you have a plethora of in-season berries and stone fruits to compete with, and apples stand out as a great fruit that is also easy to get ahold of. There is no reason to ignore apples just because other fruits happen to be in season, as well. A much better solution is to combine apples with some other fruits to give dishes you might think of as fall fare a summertime twist.
A great example of this is this Blueberry Apple Crisp. Apple Crisp is always a warming fall favorite of mine, but adding fresh blueberries to it gives it a sweeter, jammier flavor that seems a lot more summery! There is a nice distinction between the berries and the apples in this dish, and it’s a good flavor combination overall. The topping for this dish is somewhere between a cake and a biscuit. It is tender and just sweet enough to balance the fruit, but has a nice, crisp top to it when it comes out of the oven. Adding a bit of oatmeal to the topping gives it a great flavor. I used quick cooking (1 minute not instant), but you could use whole rolled oats for a little extra texture.
You can use frozen berries with this recipe, but I would definitely opt for fresh if at all possible because they’ll hold their shape a little bit better during baking, while frozen berries will run and mix with the apples a bit more. As for the apples, you can use just about any kind you like. I wouldn’t go too tart, however, because the fruit goes into the dish unsweetened and apples that are too tart might overwhelm the berries and the lightly sweet topping. I used a mix of Fuji and Pink Lady apples and would definitely go that route again.
Blueberry Apple Crisp
4 medium-large apples
1 cup blueberries
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal (not instant)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350F.
Peel apples and remove their cores. Halve the apples, then cut each half into 6-8 thin slices.
Arrange apple slices in an even layer over the bottom of an 8×8-inch square baking dish. Add blueberries on top of the apples.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, egg and melted butter (make sure butter has cooled!) until smooth. Add in flour mixture and stir to incorporate. Using a spoon, drop batter in small clumps over the top of the apple slices. Try to create a roughly even, if rustic, layer. It does not need to be smooth and it is ok if there are gaps.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until apple slices are tender when pierced with a fork, berries are bubbling and topping is golden brown.
Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.