Thursday, February 10, 2011

Battle to the Death

In the battle of good vs. evil who always prevails? Well the go to answer is good. In the ultimate battle Christ has conquered the devil. Dorothy melted the Wicked witch of the West. Macaulay Culkin put those burglars in jail in the classic Home Alone. Simba, unfortunately, had to go within the family tree in the name of righteousness to conquer his uncle Scar. Well, you get the picture.....good always wins in the end, but is that the case when it comes to food? Does the good healthy tofu salad when out over a Five Guys cheeseburger? You tell me. Not that this can compare to tofu and cheeseburgers, but both do have the classics sugar and butter.
So battling it out for the top spot, a first in Pennyless Cook history, is Fruit Crisp with Apple Date Filling (healthy) vs. Quick Apple Crisp (not-so-healthy). You tell me which one wins the crown. This could be a nail-biter.

Fruit Crisp with Apple Date Filling*

1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 lb, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup apple juice

Crisp Topping:
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/3 cup walnuts chopped

Crisp Topping:
Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. With a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed, or using fingers, mix or rub in butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs and begins to come together.
Stir in walnuts. Use at once, or seal in a freezer bag and freeze up to 6 months. (Crumble frozen topping right over fruit without thawing it first, and expect to add a few minutes to the baking time.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix sugar and cornstarch. Add apples, dates, and juice and mix well. Pour fruit into a 9-inch square or round baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with topping mixture.
Bake until topping is golden brown and apples are tender with pierced with a knife, 50-60 minutes. Let crisp stand for at least 15 minutes before serving, and serve warm or at room temperature with honey and a drizzle of cold cream or frozen yogurt.


Quick Apple Crisp*

5 granny smith apples, sliced and cored
1 package (9 ounces) yellow cake mix
2 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients but the apples. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples in a baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm over vanilla ice cream.

*Names of authors of each recipe will be revealed this week, but have been withheld for the sake of this historical competition.

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