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Deconstructed Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice Cream


This recipe was created by Liz Williams, Pastry Supervisor at Blackberry Farm. She gives the classic apple crisp a creative makeover: The topping is transformed into oatmeal cookies that are served on top of the apple filling in individual bowls. A scoop of buttermilk ice cream adds the perfect finishing touch.


To get a head start on this recipe, you can make the apple filling a day in advance; let cool, then cover and refrigerate. The cookies can be baked the day before and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The ice cream can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in the freezer.

Deconstructed Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice Cream


For the apple filling:

1 cup (250 ml) water
2 Tbs. dark rum
Wide strips of zest from 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup (185 g) golden raisins
1/2 cup (90 g) currants
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 cups (750 g) peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 6 apples)

1/2 cup (105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sea salt


For the oatmeal cookies:

3 cups (280 g) rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (235 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
20 Tbs. (2 1/2 sticks/315 g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (185 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whole pecan halves for garnish (optional)


For the buttermilk ice cream:

2 cups (500 ml) half-and-half
1/2 cup (160 ml) corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup (155 g) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk


To make the apple filling, in a saucepan, combine the water, rum, lemon zest strips, juice of 1/2 lemon, raisins and currants. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Drain the fruit, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the lemon zest and vanilla bean pod.


In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the apples, brown sugar, the rehydrated fruit, 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the reserved cooking liquid, grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, nutmeg and sea salt. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then uncover and simmer until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes more. Serve the filling warm or at room temperature.


To make the cookies, position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.


In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the oats, flour, baking soda and salt.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and brown sugars on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, add the oat mixture and beat until incorporated.


Scoop 2 Tbs. dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets, staggering the cookies 8 to a sheet. Flatten the cookies with the palm of your hand, then press 4 pecans in a row on top of each cookie. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 13 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and 180 degrees halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely. Repeat to bake the remaining dough. The recipe makes 32 cookies, so you’ll have some left over for later enjoyment.


To make the ice cream, in a saucepan, combine the half-and-half and corn syrup. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.


Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick. Slowly add the hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the pan, set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 9 to 10 minutes; do not allow it to boil. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice water and cool the custard to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled.


Whisk the buttermilk into the cold custard. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.


To assemble, divide the apple filling among 8 individual bowls and top each with a scoop of ice cream. Place a cookie, whole or crumbled, on top. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

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Buttermilk and Chive Biscuits


Buttermilk biscuits are always a hit when served with a weekend breakfast. Here they are made even
more special by the addition of chives. Guests will be especially impressed if you use a vegetable peeler
to shave curls of top-quality butter and place them on a small platter near the biscuits. Or, if you prefer, whip softened butter with a little maple syrup, spoon into a ramekin and place alongside the biscuits.

Buttermilk and Chive Biscuits

4 cups (20 oz./625 g) all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) cold unsalted butter, diced, plus 2 Tbs. melted

1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) finely snipped fresh chives

1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) plus 2 Tbs. buttermilk


Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).


Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Add the cold butter and, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the chives and toss to distribute, then stir in the buttermilk just until the dry ingredients are moistened.


Lightly flour your hands, gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, form the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick and roughly 11 by 9 inches (28 by 23 cm). Using a dough scraper or a knife, cut the dough into 20 equal-sized pieces. Transfer to an
ungreased baking sheet, leaving a little room in between the biscuits.


Brush the tops with the melted butter and bake until pale golden and puffed, about 14 minutes. Serve warm. Makes about 20 biscuits.

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Recipe Roundup: Fall Baking


As much as we love sweet berries and stone fruits, we’re looking forward to a new season of baking! Enjoy early autumn’s gems in these gorgeous treats.


Apple and Cranberry GaletteApple and Cranberry Galette
This beautiful open-faced pastry, with scarlet cranberries nestled among golden apple slices, is a gorgeous finale for a harvest (or holiday!) meal.
Apple & Butterscotch Cobbler with Pecan StreuselApple & Butterscotch Cobbler with Pecan Streusel
This cobbler courtesy of Chef Thomas Keller is baked right in the pot used to make the butterscotch sauce, which both minimizes cleanup and makes for a fun, casual presentation.
Pumpkin Cream Cookie SandwichesPumpkin Cream Cookie Sandwiches
For a fun twist on the traditional sandwich cookie, a cream cheese filling flavored with pecan pumpkin butter is tucked between chewy ginger-molasses cookies. They’re perfect for Halloween parties!
Spiced Pear Tarte TatinSpiced Pear Tarte Tatin
Traditional Tarte Tatin uses apples and a classic pastry crust, but this delicious variation substitutes pears and flaky puff pastry. Crystallized ginger packs a gentle heat and plays against the pears’ sweet, floral flavor.
Brown Sugar-Cranberry Oat MuffinsBrown Sugar-Cranberry Oat Muffins
Studded with tart cranberries and packed with wholesome oats, these delicious muffins bake up moist, with nicely rounded, golden-brown tops.
Autumn Fruit StrudelAutumn Fruit Strudel
Here, a mix of fresh and dried fruits is tucked into layers of flaky phyllo dough for an easy, lightened up dessert.
Spiced Cider DoughnutsSpiced Cider Doughnuts
You may wonder if making your own doughnuts is worth the effort. Just one bite of these sugar-glazed deep-fried treats will prove it is. The spicy flavor is sure to bring back memories of crisp autumn mornings and relaxing breakfasts in flannel pajamas.
Cranberry & Pear CrumbleCranberry & Pear Crumble
Warm, gooey, sweet-tart pears and cranberries covered with a spiced crumble topping — this is the ultimate no-fuss fall dessert. Don’t forget vanilla ice cream for serving.
Salted Caramel Apple PieSalted Caramel Apple Pie
A traditional autumn favorite — apple pie — gets a modern twist here with the addition of salted caramel. A lattice crust makes it pretty enough for a special occasion.
Brandied Apple Cake with Figs and WalnutsBrandied Apple Cake with Figs and Walnuts
Loaded with apple chunks, dried fruit and nuts, here is a not-overly-sweet cake that can be enjoyed for breakfast, afternoon tea or as a casual dessert when topped with whipped cream.
Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan StreuselPumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel
This coffee cake is lighter than you would expect, with the rich flavor of pumpkin and spices and a thick layer of crunchy brown sugar and pecan streusel. Serve it for an autumn brunch.
Cranberry Chess TartCranberry Chess Tart
With its simple custardy buttermilk filling, chess pie is a classic dessert of the American South. This updated version is baked in a square tart pan and includes sweet-tart cranberries and orange zest, giving it a festive twist for the fall and winter tables.
Deconstructed Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice CreamDeconstructed Apple Crisp with Buttermilk Ice Cream
Here, Liz Williams, Pastry Supervisor at Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm, gives the classic apple crisp a creative makeover: The topping is transformed into oatmeal cookies that are served atop the apple filling in individual bowls. A scoop of buttermilk ice cream adds the perfect finishing touch.
Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese SwirlPumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl
This spiced pumpkin bread has a delicious surprise hidden inside: a swirl of tangy-sweet cream cheese.
Pear-Custard TartPear-Custard Tart
This delicately flavored tart is filled with vanilla-poached pears and brandy-spiked custard, then topped with sugary toasted almonds. It makes an elegant finale for a fall gathering.