We went to the apple orchard last week with Jack's class - we've gone probably every year since he was three. I bought Mutsu, Gala, and Honeycrisps.
Have you tried Honeycrisps? They are by far my favorite apples, though they are not available year-round in the grocery store and are wicked expensive when they are. At the apple orchard they are a great deal, and I bought a 1/2 bushel for $13. They are sweet, juicy, and crisp.
My in-laws were coming over tonight, and I decided to make an apple crisp using a mixture of all the apples. (By the way, many recipes recommend Granny Smiths for baking, but I think they are too tart.) I figured Ina Garten would have a great crisp recipe, and she sure did. The orange and apple zest adds a brightness to the flavor. I doubt I'll ever make another version after trying hers!
•5 pounds apples
•Grated zest of 1 orange
•Grated zest of 1 lemon
•2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
•2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
•1/2 cup granulated sugar
•2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
•1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the topping:
•1 1/2 cups flour
•3/4 cup granulated sugar
•3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
•1 cup oatmeal
•2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish.
Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.
To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.
Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.