Meet the Honeycrisp apple. Developed by the horticulture department at the University of Minnesota in the early 90's, the Honeycrisp apple is a hybrid of the Macoun and Honeygold apples, and it is delicious. While there are some orchards growing the Honeycrisp in Washington state, they are primarily grown in the Midwest at this time; I predict they will take over at least the Gala and Fuji in popularity as they become more widely available. The apple is incredibly crisp, featuring a honeyed sweetness but with still a nice little tang of tartness. It is great for eating and baking. Last year I couldn't buy enough of these. I don't know how Ohio's Honeycrisp crop has been this year, because as my critics (by which I of course mean friends) will happily point out, I tout buying locally and then buy the first little Honeycrisp that comes along, which happened to be from New York. I promise to buy some local ones soon.
Anyway, here is a quick and easy recipe for dessert, Baked Honeycrisp Apples with Streusel Topping - Serves 4.
4 Honeycrisp apples, tops sliced off and cores and a little flesh removed with melon baller
2 tsp mild honey
1 cup AP flour
3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal (rolled oats, not Irish)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1/2 tsp honey in the bottom of each apple. Combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt together and stir until large crumbs form. Stuff each apple with steusel mixture, mounding the tops. Bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are slightly soft. Serve hot with good vanilla ice cream. (of course, Granny Smiths can be substituted, but they might take a little longer to bake)