Last week I noticed a new variety, something I'd never seen before and with an intriguing name...Ginger Gold. Just the idea of a ginger flavored apple excited me, so I brought a few home. Delicious. Upon research, it appears the apple is actually named after a woman, not because it tastes like ginger. Regardless, I had an inspiration.
There had to be a great recipe somewhere for an apple crisp recipe with ginger. Lots of ginger. I found this recipe at KQED's web site and it looked perfect. Fresh ginger and crystallized ginger. I actually froze fresh ginger a few weeks ago, in an attempt to make grating it easier. I peeled the ginger and just wrapped it in plastic. It worked very well and was especially convenient.
Apple-Ginger Crisp with Mascarpone Cream
For the streusel topping:
1/3 cup whole unblanched almonds
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
For the apple filling:
2 1/2 lbs. (about 8 medium) tart, firm, baking apples, such as Rome Beauty
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger root
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
For the mascarpone cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325º F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Stir the almonds and continue toasting for another 7 minutes until light brown in the center. Let cool on the pan for 15 minutes. Chop the almonds roughly. Set aside.
Turn the oven up to 400º F.
To make the streusel, put the flour, sugar, and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 to 3 times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 8 to 10 times until the butter is the size of large peas. Pour the mixture into a medium mixing bowl, and stir in the crystallized ginger and almonds. Set aside.
Alternatively, mix the flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the size of large peas. Stir in the crystallized ginger and almonds. Set aside.
To make the apple filling, butter a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Peel and core the apples and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss the apple chunks with the lemon juice. Mix in the ginger, sugar, and flour.
Pour the apple mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top, covering the apples completely. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife and the topping is golden brown. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes.
To make the mascarpone cream, put the cream, mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk until the mixture smooths out and then whisk vigorously until the mixture is light and fluffy and will hold a stiff peak. Be careful not to overwhip or the mixture will become grainy.
Serve portions of the crisp topped with mascarpone cream.