Recipe Reviews: Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Friday, January 19, 2007

Skillet Fruit Crisp Review

4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
p. 304-305

A fairly good layer of soft, diced apples covered with much streusel. Personally, I'm not a big fan of streusel in general and think everything I get that has streusel has too much; this dish was no different. The streusel itself was only okay, probably because it didn't end up crispy, as it is supposed to be. Despite baking the dish for 25 minutes -the recipe only calls for 10-15 minutes-, only small parts of the top was crispy.

I used spicy pumpkin seeds from Andronico's. These were very good and greatly contributed to the dish.

I like this recipe but the next time I'll try it with less streusel, maybe half the amount. I'll also try it with other fruit besides apples and with other seeds or nuts, and probably more of them. Basically, sauteing fruit in a little butter, topping with a little sugar, and finally baking with something crunchy seems like a good basis for many desserts.

The crisp is easy to make, though dicing dicing the apples takes a while.

The main disappointing feature of the crisp and all the variations I'm thinking about is that they have no structural integrity. It's impossible to serve without simply scooping the crisp out in spoonfuls.

Other comments regarding ingredients:
* I used red delicious apples.
* Two pounds of apples was about five small apples.
* I used whole wheat flour.
* I used one quarter of a teaspoon salt, not the larger amount suggested. This amount seemed right, possibly because I used some salted butter and the pumpkin seeds seemed like they were already salted.

Regarding leftovers, whatever crispness there was to the streusel right out of the oven is gone by the next day. Still, I enjoyed the leftovers both at room temperature and warmed up.


  • Granny smith apples and fresh cranberries turned out well. Half all purpose plus half whole wheat flour was tasty. I agree it could have been crispier. I intend to try the convection setting on my oven next time to see if it helps.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:07 PM  

  • I find the upside down cake has the same concept but holds together very very nicely, and no dicing involved if you use berries (I use IQF berries and it comes out great!) or dried fruit (I made one with apricots and prunes once)

    By Blogger J., at 8:52 AM  

  • You can bake it in individual ramikins for presentation purposes. An apple that is more tart than Red Delicious generally works better in baked apple dishes. Red Delicious are sweet and don't provide enough contrast with the amount of sugar that is generally added. It is also a softer apple, whereas tart apples usually hold their shape better when baked. Broiling for a short time at the end of cooking might crisp up the topping better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:26 AM  

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