Simply Recipes is a food blog run by Elise Bauer. It’s a well known blog and Bauer is also the founder of the Food Blog Alliance. So although she may not be as well known as Anna Olson and Martha Stewart, whose recipes I’m also testing, Bauer’s got some creds.
I was a bit surprised to see that Simply Recipes’ apple crisp calls for a 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Most crisps tend to be made in a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 dish. If the ratio of the ingredients is increased accordingly, it shouldn’t be a problem. But that’s not the case here. The crisp in this recipe is composed of one cup of oats, one cup of brown sugar, some butter and cinnamon. Martha Stewart’s recipe, for example, is made in a 2-quart dish (which is equivalent to an 8 x 8 x 2 inch dish) and also calls for one cup of oats, plus 3/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar in addition to the butter. Since the sugar dissolves, there is more bulk to Stewart’s crisp recipe. Plus, when you spread it all out in a bigger dish, it’s bound to bake differently. I was unsure about how this would turn out when I pulled out my 9 x 13 dish–the closest thing I have in size to what was instructed.
My worries were realized. There was not enough crisp for the apples, which got kind of gummy, not being in a large or sheltered enough mass to preserve the juices. Plus, the one cup of brown sugar in the crisp was too much. I likes my sweets, but this was too sugary even for me. And I’m not too keen on gelatinous apples with a topping that is not crisp. This recipe would certainly work better in a smaller dish, but I’d still cut down on the sugar in the crisp. It could easily be halved. On the positive side, the cinnamon is a good addition to the topping and I’d definitely keep that.
Sadly, my first test of a recipe from Simply Recipes was simply not a success, as I suspected would be the case when I saw the dish size. Happily, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who were visiting from Germany when I tried this out, were understanding and enthusiastic about helping with the critique. Luckily they stayed long enough for me to make another dessert for them, which I’ll let you know about next week!