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Easy Apple Crisp Recipe & The History Of Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe
[1] An apple crisp is the perfect solution for when you don’t want to roll out a pie crust (photo © Urban Accents).

Apple Crisp Recipe
[2] A serving of apple crisp is even prettier than pie when you serve it in dessert dishes. Here it’s served with custard sauce (here’s a recipe), but you could substitute a scoop of ice cream (photo © Finlandia Cheese).

Apple Crumble Recipe
[3] You can also make apple crisp/crumble in individual ramekins or pots. This one has an extra-thick streusel topping. Yum (photo © Between The Bread [now closed])!

Van Leeuwen Honey Ice Cream Pint
[4] For an apples and honey theme, add honey ice cream (photo © Van Leeuwen Ice Cream).

Plum Cobbler in Le Creuset Gratin Pan
[5] A cobbler is topped with biscuit dough, which resembles cobblestones. The handsome pan is the Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Oval Gratin (photo © Williams Sonoma).

Individual Blueberry Crisp or Crumble
[6] Use ramekins to make individual crisps (photo © Driscoll’s Berries).

 

Our piemaker Mom was not keen on apple crisp. A cook and baker extraordinaire, she was beloved for all of her cuisine. But people raved about her pies with the “best crust ever.”

Rebel that we were, we weren’t into pie crusts. We preferred the thicker, cookie-like tart crusts; and with no crusts, crisps (sprinkled with streusel topping—photo #1) and cobblers (with biscuit “cobblestones” on top—photo #5).

Although we crimped many a pie crust when cooking in Mom’s kitchen, we learned to make the latter two when we had an apartment of our own.

This weekend, our baking project is Grandmother Bassett’s Apple Crisp.

For an apples-and-honey Rosh Hashanah dessert, we’re serving it with Van Leeuwen honeycomb ice cream (photo #3—other brands make honey ice cream, too). We’ve also enjoyed apple crisp with salted caramel ice cream, although your favorite—chocolate, coffee, vanilla, whatever) works, too.

This recipe was developed by the L.D. Bassett Ice Cream Company and shared with Melissa’s Produce, who shared it with us. Thanks to all three: Bassett’s, Melissa’s, and Grandmother Bassett.

> Do you know the difference between a cobbler, a crisp, and a crumble? Here they are, plus 10 more “cousins.”

> More crisp recipes and the history of apple crisp are below.

> The different types of pies and pastries.

> The difference between pies and tarts.
 
 
RECIPE: GRANDMOTHER BASSETT’S APPLE CRISP
 
Prep time is 20 minutes, and cook time is 45-55 minutes.
 
Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

  • Butter for greasing baking dish
  • 5 cups* Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Mutsu/Crispin apples
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Ice cream flavor of choice or whipped cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish.

    2. COMBINE the water and cinnamon in a large bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/2 inch-thick wedges, place them in the cinnamon water bowl and toss well. Pour them into the baking dish.

    3. COMBINE the flour, butter, and brown sugar in another bowl. Work the mixture into coarse crumbs that resemble dried oats and sprinkle over the apples.

    4. PLACE the baking dish on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan to prevent spills. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF APPLE CRISP

    The earliest print reference to apple crisp in print occurs in 1924, with a recipe in the Everybody’s Cook Book: A Comprehensive Manual of Home Cookery, by Isabel Ely Lord [Harcout Brace and Company: New York] 1924 (p. 239).

    Over time, the names have become used interchangeably; although that’s not correct. If it’s streusel, it’s a crisp, if there are rolled oats, it’s a crumble.

  • Crisps contain oats in the topping, which crisps up as it bakes (hence the name.).
  • Crumbles have a streusel topping: butter, flour, and sugar. Streusel form into large when the butter is cut into the dry ingredients; “crumbs,” hence “crumble.”
  •  
    We have seen references that both crisps and crumbles became more popular during World War II, “when food rationing limited access to pastry ingredients used for making apple pies” [source].

    However, the basic foodstuffs that were rationed were bacon, butter, and other fats, canned and processed foods, cheese, coffee, meat, and sugar.

    Crisps, crumbles, and pies all contain sugar and fats. While the topping of crisps and crumbles requires much less fat than pie crusts, the toppings require sugar, and pie crusts do not. We’re guessing that the extra sugar was easier to manage during rationing than the extra fats.

    Today, crisps and crumbles are made with all types of fruit. Like pies, they are equally beloved for their delicious selves.
     
     
    MORE CRISP, CRUMBLE, & COBBLER RECIPES

  • Cherry Cobbler
  • Classic Apple Crisp
  • Cranberry Apple Crisp
  • Mango Blueberry Cobbler
  • Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
  • Peach Or Mango Cobbler
  • Summer Crisp Or Cobbler
  •  
     
    HOLIDAYS

    > April 13th is National Peach Cobbler Day.

    > May 17th is National Cherry Cobbler Day.

    > October 5th is National Apple Betty Day.

    > October is National Apple Month, October 21st is National Apple Day.
     
     
    ________________

    *One medium apple yields about 1-1/3 cups sliced or cubed. So four apples should do it, but it never hurts to have extras [source].

     

     
     

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    New Stacy’s Pita Thins ~ Limited Edition Girl Scout Thin Mints

    It might be difficult to find a Stacy’s product—Pitas Chips, Pita Thins, Bagel Chip— that isn’t delicious.

    But the new Girl Scout Thin Mints Pita Thins are a revelation:

    They’re as good as eating a Thin Mint Cookie, with far fewer calories.

    The recommended serving size of 16 pieces (130 calories), but 8 or even 4 pieces are very satisfying with a cup of coffee or tea.

    And the full complement of 16 contains just 4g of total sugars.

    While the other flavors of Pita Thins are savory, and Thin Mint is also made from pita dough, to us, Thin Mint is a welcome “Cookie Thin.”

    The experience is true Thin Mint Cookie.

    You can serve the Thins with:

  • Hot drinks, especially coffee and hot chocolate.
  • Ice cream.
  • “Canoli” dip* or flavored yogurt.
  •  
    Or, simply snack from the bag.

    When something is this delightful, we hope it becomes elevated from LTO (limited-time offer) to at least a seasonal offering.

    For more information visit StacysSnacks.com.
     
     
    > The history of cookies.
     
     
    > The different types of cookies.
     
     
    STACY’S X GIRL SCOUTS

    Stacy’s, a female-founded brand, is committed to empowering women entrepreneurs on their paths to establishing successful businesses.

    The company is supporting Girl Scouts of the USA, the largest girl-focused organization in the country, with a donation of $50,000.

    From running their own cookie businesses to solving problems in their communities, Girl Scouts learn about entrepreneurship and leadership.

    Learn how Girl Scouts of the USA supports young leaders and how you can get involved.

    ________________

    *We make a diet cannoli dip with ricotta cheese, with noncaloric sweetener to taste. Add an optional dash of cinnamon.

     

    Stacy's Pita Thins Thin Mint Bag
    [1] Stacy’s Pita Thins in the limited-time Thin Mint flavor (photo © Stacy’s Snacks).

    Stacy's Pita Thins Thin Mint Chips
    [2] Enjoy Thin Mint Thins for a snack (photos #2 and #3 © The Nibble).

    Stacy's Pita Thins Thin Mint chips
    [3] Serve a few with after-dinner coffee.

     

     
     

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    Special Chocolates For Rosh Hashanah From Chocolat Moderne

    Special Rosh Hashanah Box Of Chocolate For A New Year's Gift
    [1] Sweet Celebrations are chocolates with flavors that celebrate Rosh Hashanah (photos #1 an #3 © Chocolat Moderne).

    Apples & Honey, A Traditional Food For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year
    [2] Apples and honey are a traditional combination eaten for a “sweet” new year (photo © Good Eggs).

    Rosh Hashanah Chocolate Gift
    [3] A 6-piece sleeve of Sweet Celebrations.

     

    In 2022, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, begins on Sunday, September 25th, and culminates on the evening of Tuesday, September 27th. It commemorates the creation of the world. Here’s more about the holiday.

    One of the Rosh Hashanah traditions is to eat apples dipped in honey, to evoke a sweet new year.

    How about chocolate?

    Artisan chocolatier Joan Coukos of Chocolat Moderne, a Nibble favorite, has created a Sweet Celebrations collection to capture the flavors and traditions of the Jewish New Year. And yes, there is chocolate with apples and honey.

    If you want an extra-special way to celebrate Rosh Hashanah—or want to send a gift—we recommend a box of Sweet Celebrations.
     
     
    SWEET CELEBRATIONS CHOCOLATES:
    A DELICIOUS START TO THE NEW YEAR

    The handmade chocolates include two each of three dark chocolate and three milk chocolate bonbons:

    Apple Flavors

  • Dark Chocolate: Green Apple and Calvados Caramel
  • Milk Chocolate: Ganache with Apple and Cinnamon
  •  
    Honey Flavors

  • Dark Chocolate: Blended Dark and Milk Chocolate Ganache with Japanese Yuzu Citrus and Honey
  • Milk Chocolate: Blended Dark and Milk Chocolate Ganache with Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey
  •  
    Traditional Flavors

  • Dark Chocolate: Dark Ganache with Pomegranate and Rosewater
  • Milk Chocolate: Halva Sesame Tahini and White Chocolate Praline
  •  
    The chocolates are all natural but not kosher.

    Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement.

    Four days after Yom Kippur, on October 2nd, the festival of Sukkot (the feast of the Tabernacles) begins. It remembers the years that the people of Israel spent sheltered in tents while crossing the desert from Egypt to the Promised Land.

    So there’s plenty of time to celebrate and enjoy fine chocolates.
     
     
    GET YOUR CHOCOLATES

    Head to Chocolat Moderne for Sweet Celebrations:

  • 6-Piece Sleeve
  • 12-Piece Box
  • 24-Piece Box
  •  
    While you’re there, check out the great chocolate bars, including our personal favorites, the Avant Garde bars. Heavenly!

    L’Shana Tovah!

     

     
     

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    Give An Ice Cream Halloween Gift From eCreamery

    eCreamery is one of those great online finds where you can customize labels as a gift for your favorite ice cream lover.

    Since 2007, eCreamery has been churning out superpremium ice cream: classic favorites, original flavors, and customers’ own unique creations.
     
     
    ICE CREAM FOR HALLOWEEN

    Get ready for some “to die for” frozen delights! A bewitching collection of ice cream flavors will delight everyone from your mummy to your little monsters.

    They’ll also get a howl out of the funny messages on each frightfully fabulous pint!
     
     
    The Spooky Scoops Collection includes one pint each of:

  • Bone Appetite: Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream.
  • Cookies and S(Cream): Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Monster Cookie Pieces & M&Ms.
  • Love at First Bite: Apple Ice Cream with Graham Crunch and Caramel Swirls.
  • Trick or Treat: Marshmallow Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks and Graham Crunch.
  •  
    Made in small batches, each pint is hand-packed and hand-labeled.

    If you prefer, you can pick your own flavors and customize labels with your own titles (photos, too).
     
     
    BIG SAVINGS

    The regular price for the set is $79.99 plus shipping and handling.

    For Halloween 2022, it’s $49.99 plus shipping and handling.

    Head to eCreamery.com.

     

    eCreamery Halloween Ice Cream Gift
    [1] A real scream: this gift package of four Halloween pints (both photos © eCreamery).

    eCreamery Halloween Ice Cream Gift
    [2] Cookies and S(Cream) ice cream.

     

     
     

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    String Cheese “Sushi” For National String Cheese Day

    String Cheese Mock Sushi Recipe
    [1] A mock sushi roll, made with string cheese (photos #1, #2, #6, and #7 © Frigo Cheeseheads).

    Frigo Original Mozzarella String Cheese Package
    [2] A package of string cheese can be turned into delicious and fun recipes.

    Bottle Of Wasabi Mayonnaise
    [3] You can buy wasabi mayonnaise or make your own by stirring wasabi into mayo (photo © Wasabi-O | Amazon).

    Package Of String Cheese
    [4] The fun of string cheese is peeling the strings (photo © Chris Hsia | Wikipedia).

    Sticks of String Cheese on a Plate
    [5] Sticks of string cheese can be cut up into salads or for skewers; wrapped in crêpes, egg roll wrappers, and tortillas and heated for a melty treat; and much more (photo © Lee | Pixabay | Creative Commons Zero License).

    String Cheese Edible Art
    [6] Unleash your inner cheese artist.

    String Cheese Shredded On Pasta
    [7] Food fun: shred string cheese atop pasta instead of sprinkling Parmesan.

    Peeling String Cheese
    [8] Peeling string cheese (photo © Schultz’s Cheese).

    Smoked String Cheese With Grapes & Crackers
    [9] Smoked string cheese (photo © Burnett Dairy).

    Ukranian Smoked String Cheese
    [10] Ukranian smoked string cheese, kosychka (photo © Nickispeaki | Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike-4.0 International License).

     

    National String Cheese Day is September 20, 2022, and we’re having some food fun with this string cheese “sushi” recipe.

    Many people think of string cheese as a kid’s snack, or something to go into a lunchbox. At home, you can make everything from Halloween “broomsticks,” string cheese snakes, and flower bouquets to recipes we’d serve to a group of grown-ups.

    After years of snacking on string cheese right out of the package, who knew that we would uncover a cache of creative recipes from Frigo. Check them out.

    In the U.S., string cheese is typically a snack for kids. Frigo Cheese, a leading producer, has a dedicated site just for them, called Frigo Cheeseheads.

    Frigo makes three varieties of string cheese: original (mozzarella), Cheddar and mozzarella swirl, and a Colby and Monterey Jack blend. (Note that only mozzarella sticks are “stringable.” The others are cheese sticks, but not string cheese.)

    The recipe for string cheese sushi follows.

    > The history of string cheese is below.

    > The different types of cheese.

    > The history of cheese.
     
     
    RECIPE: STRING CHEESE SUSHI (MOCK SUSHI, THAT IS)

    First, a point of information: “Sushi” doesn’t mean raw fish; it is Japanese for vinegar[ed] (su) rice (shi). There’s no rice in this recipe; hence, “mock” sushi. But you could use the same ingredients, swapping out the bread for rice, to make “real” string cheese sushi.

    Either way, fill the roll with your favorite veggiess, thinly sliced.

    We tried different combinations from the following list. Our personal favorites:

  • Asparagus, avocado, pimento, and scallion.
  • Carrot, cucumber, green beans, red bell pepper (the “crunchy” winner).
  •  
    No dip is used in this recipe, but we used wasabi mayonnaise (photo #3).

    You can make it just by blending wasabi paste or powder into mayonnaise of plain yogurt to taste. If you don’t have wasabi, use a bit of hot sauce, cayenne, or red chile flakes.
     
    Ingredients

  • Soft, white bread slices (one slice makes 1 roll, cut up to 4 pieces)
  • Cream cheese, room temperature (we used whipped cream cheese for easy spreading)
  • Frigo® Cheese Heads® Smart Snacking Sticks (photo #2) or substitute (1 stick per roll)
  • Optional dip: mayonnaise or yogurt with wasabi
  •  
    Selection Of Vegetables

    You can blanch the asterisked* vegetables if you like.

  • Asparagus*
  • Avocado
  • Carrots*
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans*
  • Olives (pitted)
  • Red bell pepper*, peppadew, or pimento
  • Scallions
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE one slice of bread on a smooth surface. Roll the slice flat with a rolling pin and cut off the crusts. Spread the bread with a thin layer of cream cheese.

    2. LAY the vegetables on top of the cream cheese. Experiment with what assortment of veggies makes the perfect roll for you.

    3. TOP the vegetables with peeled strings of string cheese.

    4. CAREFULLY ROLL up the bread until the ends meet (use a bit more cream cheese to seal the ends, if needed). Using a serrated knife, gently cut into pieces; plate and serve.
     
     
    STRING CHEESE HISTORY

    String cheese is made in the U.S., Mexico, and some countries in Europe. It is a subcategory of the family of cheeses known as pasta filata†. That’s Italian for “spun paste,” referring to how the curds are heated and stretched/kneaded, or “spun.”

    The group is also known in English as stretched-curd, pulled-curd, and plastic-curd cheeses. Stretched curd cheeses manufactured with the pasta filata technique undergo a kneading of the fresh curd in hot water, which gives the cheese its fibrous, stringy structure.

    The string cheese subgroup includes string cheese from the U.S.; chechil from Armenia; dil peyniri from Turkey; korbáčik, a braided cheese from Slovakia (photo #10 is similar); and oaxaca from Mexico, among others. Recipes (including aging time) and shapes vary.

    You can typically peel the curd from the main body of the cheese—just try it with a ball of mozzarella. The curds of string cheese, a slightly drier (low moisture) mozzarella, are even more pliable. If you’ve never done it, pulling thin strings of cheese off the body is fun.
     
     
    American String Cheese

    In the U.S., string cheese refers to snack-sized, individually wrapped cylindrical “cheese sticks.”

    To make mozzarella, the cheese curds are heated to create a cohesive mass. The heat causes the casein proteins in the milk to align such that mozzarella is stretchy and elastic.

    To make string cheese, the cheese is stretched further. This completely aligns the proteins and allows the cheese to be pulled apart, string by string.

    Kids have fun peeling the cheese and eating the strings (photo #8), and adults can use the strings as a garnish (photo #7).

    American string cheese was invented by Wisconsin cheesemaker Francis Baker of Baker Cheese in 1976. His family’s cheese factory focused on mozzarella.
     
     
    It Started With Pizza

    Post World War II, American soldiers returning home from Italy had a hankering for pizza. The crust and the tomato sauce were easy enough to acquire, but mozzarella was difficult to find.

    In Italy, mozzarella was (and is) made from water buffalo’s milk‡. Italian immigrants to the U.S. substituted cow’s milk. It worked, and abetted the growth of the chain pizza business that was popping up throughout the Midwest: Pizza Hut (Kansas, 1958), Little Caesar’s (Michigan, 1959) and Domino’s (Michigan, 1960) [source].

    Baker Cheese spotted the shift and turned its attention from Cheddar, then the company’s mainstay since 1916, to a full mozzarella plant.

    Baker made six-pound loaves and 20-pound blocks of mozzarella that restaurants would cut and slice for their pizzas. There were one-pound packages in grocery stores.

    But the company began to get requests from mozzarella-loving consumers who wanted smaller units that they could eat as a snack.

    By the 1970s, Francis Baker, son of founder Frank, had an idea for a snack cheese. He took a ball of mozzarella, heated and stretched it into a rope, and cut it into small chunks, creating the Original Baker String Cheese.
     
     
    String Cheese Becomes Big Business
    What began in 1977 as a few hundred pounds of string cheese a month is now the only cheese Baker Cheese produces: nearly 3 million sticks per day. The original stick is joined by jalapeño, low-fat, organic, and smoked versions.

    Following the success of Baker string cheese, other companies began to make plain and flavored varieties, including Borden, Frigo, Galbani, Horizon, Kraft, Organic Valley, and Sorrento. Retail chains like Aldi (Happy Farms), Kroger, Safeway (Lucerne), Target (Good & Gather) Trader Joe, Walmart, and Whole Foods (365) sell private-label versions.

    In 2003, in the midst of the low-carb craze, the Atkins and South Beach diets, were an added boon for string cheese, and introduced new consumers to the product.

    Baker Cheese became an industry leader in the innovation and design of string cheese manufacturing equipment, pioneering the extrusion process and individually wrapped packages of string cheese.

    In the process, the company has won awards at the most prestigious cheese contests: the United States Cheese Championships (Best String Cheese) and the World Championship Cheese Contest (Best Flavored String Cheese, for Jalapeño) [source].

    A tip: Microwave your string cheese for 7 to 8 seconds for even more flavor and aroma.
     
     
    ________________

    †Pasta filata cheeses from Italy include burata, mozzarella, provolone and scamorza, among others. Mediterranean pasta filata cheeses include halloumi from Cyprus. There are numerous others made in Europe and Latin America. A subgroup is a braided cheese, made from strips of the highly elastic cheese wound together in a braid. Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and many Latin American countries make braided cheeses.

    Mozzarella di bufala is the water buffalo product, fior di latte (“flower of the milk”) mozzarella is made from cow’s milk
     

     

     
     

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