Baked Apples With Oat Crumble From 'Huckleberry'

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[Photograph: Matt Armendariz]

The combination of baked fruit, vanilla, and brown sugar found in this recipe from Huckleberry is intoxicating. And it's truly simple to put together—chances are, the ingredients are already in your pantry. An oat and wheat flour crumble is cut with a generous amount of butter and brown sugar, and sprinkled over cored, halved apples of your choosing. They end up soft and fragrant, with plenty of crumb to cover.

Tips: The only way this dessert can go awry is if you pick an apple unsuitable for baking. Luckily, most varieties are just fine for making this dessert; pick your favorite, and don't mix them, so it all cooks evenly. Steer clear of Fuji apples or super-sweet varieties, since they tend to bake up super sugary and disrupt the flavor of the crumble. My personal favorite is Granny Smith; they start out nice and tangy, which complements the sweetness of the topping.

Tweaks: The recipe calls for apple juice to be poured into the baking dish with the apple halves; I liked the idea of adding a shot of bourbon to the juice and letting it bake up with a boozy influence. Once it becomes more readily available, substituting thick apple cider for the juice would make for an even richer result.

Speaking of richer, why peel the apples? Unless you're turned off by baked apple skin (innocuous as it is), taking the extra time to peel the apples seems unnecessary. It does allow for more moisture retention, though, so if you do want to leave the skins on, poke a few holes in the halves with a fork.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Huckleberry to give away.