Friday, May 8, 2015

Sweet Basil Apple Crumble with Oat Topping

When I planted my new herb garden I was super excited to start experimenting with sweet herb recipes (and I still don't own an ice cream scoop so you can't judge me on my sloppy scoopin').
I have always been a HUGE fan of basil but in all the traditional ways...pizza, tomato sauce, pesto - all delicious but I am ready to bust outta my basil culinary comfort zone. When I was brainstorming about sweet n' savory combos I actually got this inspiration from the resemblance of basil and apple leaves - kinda weird I know, but in this case it ended up working.

Now this is sort of a recipe in progress, since I have never made this before nor tasted anything like it I wasn't exactly sure just how much basil to add - these amounts give just a hint without slapping you in the face, next time though I think I would add even more...or perhaps take it up a notch and make home made basil ice cream! Either way, the presence of basil added an interesting quality to the pie - it was like a sweet earthy taste but not earthy like dirty more earthy like fresh from the garden earthy.

Sweet Basil Apple Crumble with Oat Topping

For the basil syrup...
3-4 basil leaves (any type of basil would work but I used sweet basil)
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1/3 cup water

1 TBS dried ground cinnamon
4-5 large, firm apples

1.In small saucepan, combine basil leaves, cinnamon stick, sugar, and dried basil; bring mixture to a boil swirling pan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, cover and let syrup steep for 5-10 min. Remove fresh basil leaves and discard.

2.Pour syrup over apples and mix, add ground cinnamon and toss.

For the topping...
1/4 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9" pie dish and set aside.

2.Mix together the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, oats, and flour until evenly combined. With your fingertips, blend in the butter pieces until small clumps form and the butter is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

3.To assemble, make an even layer of basil apple filling on the bottom of the pie pan and top evenly with crumble topping. Bake for 30-40 or until topping is lightly brown and apples are tender.

*Note - my filling was a little watery at first but after sitting out for 30 + minutes, it thickened up.

Still thinking about more recipes to try, I am thinking a strawberry basil pairing next, what do ya think? Any other suggestions?

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