Holidays are all about coming together with friends and family to celebrate each other. Old and new, close and distant, it’s a chance for all of us to step back from the daily hustle and bustle and focus on the people who matter most to us.
Food Network is giving us the chance to bring new friends to The Communal Table this year with their first Virtual Thanksgiving. So #pullupachair and get ready to feast your eyes on the array that’s about to be presented before you! The festivities kick off at 12 noon on Wednesday, November 16th. You can follow the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #pullupachair.
My contribution to this pretend party is Amaretto Apple Crisp. It comes from a friend on a ski forum I used to frequent, who gave me this recipe a few years ago. A man with a heart of gold, he not only offered skiing and general life guidance, but culinary advice from time to time as well. I can’t ski this year–can’t do any of the normal outdoor activities I used to–thanks to the partial paralysis that I am (hopefully temporarily) limited by, but I can still eat this recipe and be reminded of the good times I’ve had with my former ski buddies, both in the flesh and on the web. They all have touched my life in countless ways.
- ⅓ cup Amaretto
- ½ vanilla bean, scraped
- 7 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples (about 3lbs)
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup vanilla sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8"x8" baking dish and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine amaretto and vanilla bean scrapings. Set aside while you peel and slice your apples (using an apple-peeler-corer-slicer will save you a lot of time here, if you have access to one).
- Add the apples to the bowl and stir, covering the slices with the amaretto/vanilla bean mixture. Set aside.
- Combine flour and sugars in a medium mixing bowl.
- Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly.
- Add almonds, mixing well.
- Spoon apple mixture into the prepared 8"x8" baking dish and sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve warm or cold, with ice cream or without. It's even great from the refrigerator as leftovers (and can be reheated in the microwave in 30 seconds or so).
Warp always said you should take a shot of amaretto once you have the dish in the oven. Don’t mind if I do!
Happy Virtual Thanksgiving! The only Thanksgiving where it’s your mind that fills up instead of your belly! At least your pants will still fit you after.
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