I'm so excited that apples are in season. A few years ago, I really got into making pies. I use this amazing recipe by Linda Sendowski for all my pie crusts. Every time I make it, everyone raves about how flaky and delicious the pie crust is. Check out some of my favorite pies from the past couple of years.
About a month ago, I saw someone post in Freezer Meals and Recipes about how they use their Souper Cubes® trays to make individual-size chicken pot pies. This got me thinking, can I make pies in these things? So one weekend, I made a pie crust and gave it a shot. I'll be honest, the first test round was harder that I thought. I ended up rolling out the dough too many times and it fell apart. I made two pies and then gave up. I think next time I will try it again but with store-bought pie crust that is already rolled out.
Recently on Instagram I saw someone post about how she makes apple crisp/crumble as part of her freezer meal prep. I thought that was genius and would be much easier to execute than actual pies. So this past weekend I went to the market and picked up some apples and oats. I had wanted to include cranberries in mine, but unfortunately they weren't available in the market yet.
I love this recipe. Apples are really cheap in the market right now and are so fresh. I love homemade pie and crumble, but we're a family of two and can't go through an entire pie on our own. Plus, it takes some effort to throw a pie together. Using my Souper Cubes® trays to make apple crumble has been a game-changer for my fall/winter desserts. Now, especially when Jake is on the road for work travel, I get to take out a single portion of homemade apple crumble, throw it in the oven for 40 minutes, top it with ice cream or whipped cream, and enjoy it!
I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. What's your favorite pie recipe? I can't wait to try this recipe when peaches are back in season.
Full recipe and directions below.
Step 1: Gather and prep all your ingredients
For 8 individual apple crisp pies, I recommend using 8-10 apples. I love using pink lady or fuji apples if they're available. Cook's Illustrated has a helpful table for "Best Apples for Baking" with all the various types of apples, their flavor, and a short description.
Step 2: Peel and slice your apples
To save time and energy, I don't always core my apples (oops). I typically peel them first, cut off four big pieces around the core, and then cut each piece in half. From there, I slice them. If I'm making a big pie, I don't slice each piece in half. But since I'm making this for my Souper Cubes® trays, I wanted to make sure they fit easily in each of the cubes.
Step 3: Place apples in a pot over low heat and add sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, lemon juice, and nutmeg
When I was looking up various apple crisp recipes, I noticed people didn't soften their apples first. It seems to me that they're just dumping the spiced apples in the container they're going to eventually bake in. However, I wanted to be able to pop out each crisp, which means I needed a liquid to bind the apples together. This is where the brown sugar and low heat comes into play. When you place the spices and apples in a pot over low heat, the apples will soften and the brown sugar will melt. This takes about 5-7 minutes.
Step 4: As the apples are softening, make crisp topping
Place butter, flour, oats, pecans, and remaining spices in a medium-sized bowl. Mix together with your hands. The pecans are optional, but I really love them!
Step 5: Once the apples have softened and the brown sugar has melted, place them in your Souper Cubes® tray, then top with crisp.
There's some debate over this, but I recommend a 2/3 apples to 1/3 crisp ratio. Others suggest half-half for apples-to-crisp.
Step 6: Let apple crisp cool, then add lid and freeze.
Step 7: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for ~45 minutes. Enjoy!
While Souper Cubes® wasn't designed to be a baking tool, it can go in the oven as the silicone is food-grade. However, I wouldn't place it on the oven rack directly. When I tested this at home, I put it over a cookie pan sheet.
If I'm only baking 1 or 2 apple crisps, I prefer to take out each cube and place it in a mini-loaf pan for the baking process.
Michelle's Apple Crisp Recipe
Makes 8-10 individual servings
For the crisp:
- 2 sticks of butter, cut into cubes
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup of crushed pecans
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 8-10 apples, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons of corn starch
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Prepare filling. Place all filling ingredients in a pot over low heat. Cook until sugar has melted and apples have softened, about 5-7 minutes. Then take off heat.
- Prepare crisp. While apples are softening, prepare crisp. Add all ingredients (except for the butter) in a bowl and mix together. Then add cubed butter (it's better if it's cold) into the crumble. Stir with fork or mix with your hands. It's okay if there are clumps of different sizes.
- Assemble. Place apples into Souper Cubes® trays - fill up to roughly 2/3 of the way. Then sprinkle crisp mix on top.
- To enjoy for later, place lid on top of tray and place in freezer.
- When you're ready to bake, take out Souper Cubes® of Apple Crisp out and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crumb topping is crisp and a deep golden brown. Top with your whipped cream or favorite ice cream.