California Pizza Kitchen Restaurant Recipe
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour plus extra for dusting
3 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the Topping: Generously dust a work surface with flour. Put the butter on a flour dusted surface, using a knife, cut into 1/8 inch dice, turning the pieces in the flour to coat them. In a mixing bowl, gently toss together the butter dice, brown sugar, salt, and 1 1/3 cups flour. Do not over blend. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the Apple Crisp: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Peel and core the apples and cut them into 1/8 inch thick crescent shaped slices. In a mixing bowl, gently toss together the apple slices, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Set aside at room temperature until the apples begin to give off their juices, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the Apple Mixture to a 2 quart glass baking dish. Spread it out well, making sure to fill in the corners and spaces, and leave a slight depression in the center of the dish. Remove the topping mixture from the refrigerator. Grab a handful and squeeze tightly to compress it into a solid piece. Then hold the compressed topping over the baking dish and crumble it by hand into small 1/2 inch pieces, strewing over the apples. Repeat with the remaining topping.
Place the baking dish directly on the oven rack and bake until the apples begin to turn a rosy color and the juices thicken, about 2 hours. (Rotate the dish occasionally so the topping browns evenly and does not burn. If it appears to be browning too quickly, loosely drape it with aluminum foil.) When the crisp is done, leave it at room temperature until it cools enough to cut into individual servings, about 20 minutes. Cut the crisp into 6 pieces and serve with your favorite ice cream.