If you are new to baking in a woodburning cookstove, there are two different treats that I would suggest baking first to get a feel for how your oven works. The first would be a batch of cookies. The reason I suggest cookies is because you will be able to determine where your oven's hot spots are by examining the various doneness of the cookies on each sheet. You can also determine if the bottom of the oven is cooler or hotter than the top by noting whether each individual cookie is cooked evenly on its top or bottom. Obviously, you should not bake chocolate cookies for this test because you will not be able to see the browning sufficiently to learn anything.
Baking cookies will help you to figure out whether you will need to rotate foods midway through their baking time to ensure even cooking and browning.
Of course, you may discover, as I did, that your oven bakes very evenly. If so, all the better!
|This was the first sheet of cookies baked in the|
Margin Gem back in 2012. You can see that
they are very evenly browned. Hmm--I wonder
where those missing three cookies went!
1. As always, the first thing to do is build your fire in such a way that you will have a moderate oven when you are ready to bake your apple crisp.
2. Choose your baking dish and butter the bottom and sides. If I am using purchased butter, I like to just unwrap one end of the stick of butter that I will be using in the topping and rub it on the pan. This way, I save unwrapping an extra stick of butter just for greasing the dish, and I don't get my fingers messy, either. When we are milking, this is also a great recipe for using homemade butter.
A word about choosing your dish: I like to use a glass or ceramic baking dish for apple crisp due to the fact that the acid in the apples will not react with it, thus increasing the shelf-life of the finished product. If you are new to baking apple crisp, I would suggest using a clear glass pan if you have one because it will allow you to easily see how the apples are cooking.
3. Next, make your topping. The recipe that I use is for either a 9 x 9 or 7 x 11 inch pan. (Double this for a 9 x 13.)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
You can vary this in lots of different ways:
a) You can use stick margarine if you prefer, but I never think it is as good.
b) Instead of 1 cup of all-purpose flour, use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and a 1/2 cup all-purpose.
c) Instead of 1 cup of all-purpose flour, use 1/2 cup oatmeal and a 1/2 cup flour.
d) Instead of 1 cup of white sugar, use 1/2 cup brown sugar and a 1/2 cup white sugar.
This could go on forever, but you get the idea. Keep the same proportions, just vary the ingredients to suit your taste.
Cut the butter into the sugar and flour until well blended and crumbly. I like to use a pastry blender for this, but I've seen my grandma just use her fingers.
|The prepared apple crips topping. This was a combination of|
whole wheat flour, oatmeal, and brown sugar. It was quite good.
6. Spread the topping crumbs on top of the apples.
|The assembled apple crips ready to go in the oven.|
|The apple crisp in the oven of the Margin Gem cookstove.|
9. When done, remove from the oven and cool for a little while before serving warm with whipped cream or ice cream. You could serve it plain, but what is the fun in that?
|The finished apple crisp. I think this one is a little too dark on top,|
but it tasted very good anyway.
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