Orange and Apple Skillet Crisp
A few years back I was gifted a brand new 10 inch cast iron skillet. I didn't know what all the fuss was about cast iron at the time, but I learned that with proper "conditioning" it would become naturally non-stick, without all the scary synthetic non-stick coating flaking off in your food. That sounded great to me.
But there was a learning curve. Through trial and error I learned that one should never cook acidic tomatoes in the skillet because they will remove the non-stick coating being built up (that's why it seemed to take mine so long to become conditioned...) and that you should never wash it with soap. It took some time, but eventually the inside of the pan became as smooth as silk. Now after I cook with it, all I have to do for clean up is use *very* hot water and a clean rag to wipe it out. Coconut oil also helps keep it silky and smooth and conditioned, so we occasionally wipe the inside of it with a dab.
I love this pan because it's sturdy, makes my food more nutritious (it adds iron), and it will go from stove top to oven without worry. I try to use it as much as possible.
Here's a yummy recipe for apple crisp that you can cook/bake in your cast iron skillet. Because apple crisp is still perfect this time of year.
7 medium sized firm, tart apples, peeled and cored and cut into slices or chunks
1/4 cup maple syrup
Juice of one medium sized orange
2 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs butter (Kerrygold is fantastic)
Topping: Combine 6 Tbs melted Kerrygold or other pasture butter with 3/4 cup oats, 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup sucanat or raw sugar, 1/2 tsp salt until mixture is evenly coated. You can also optionally add a handful of flax seeds or 1/2 cup roughly chopped nuts (pecans would be fantastic). Set aside.
Mix apples and cinnamon together. Melt butter in skillet over medium/low heat and add apples. Toss and cook for 10 minutes or so, until the apples begin to soften. Combine maple syrup, OJ and corn starch, whisk until smooth. Crank up the heat a bit (med/high) and add mixture to apples. Let bubble away, stirring frequently until liquid has reduced, and is a slightly thicker consistency. Remove from heat. Even spread topping on top and bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet (for easy clean up of dribbles) in a 425 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until top is evenly browned. Keep a watchful eye - the topping can burn easily if left in the oven too long!