Can I just take a minute to tell you how wonderful Neal is. The other day he saw me struggling with food sticking to our main frying pan (see this post for deets). So he surprised me with a new cast iron skillet the other day! I had a cast iron skillet back in the day. Like back in the only eating ramen, microwave-meal days. Needless to say, it got neglected, misused and ended up in the cast iron skillet grave.
I’m thrilled that I’ve been given a second chance with this deceptively simple-looking pan. I’ve been using it non-stop since I got it. I refried the vegan egg in it. Success! I baked brussels sprouts in it and made polenta in it. And after each gentle cleaning and light oiling of my preciousss, I’m dreaming about what to make next in it.
Sunday morning I hopped out of bed and decided to bake a sweet breakfast in it. I don’t hop out of bed. I don’t bake stuff unless desperate. What’s happening to me? What have you done to me cast iron skillet?
This simple and tasty blueberry apple crisp (adapted from this recipe at The Grit) involves tossing fruit with some flour, sugar and spices in one bowl. Mushing rolled oats, flour, sugar, vegan margarine and spices in another. Pouring them in the skillet and baking. This was one of those free-form-throw-it-together deals, so I only sorta measured the ingredients. The recipe listings are estimates only, but I think it’s hard to mess up fruit and oats. You can use whatever fruit you like, I just used what we happened to have in the kitchen and freezer.
Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp
For the fruit bottom:
- 2 gala apples cored and cut into chunks
- 3 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
- 2 1/2 tbs flour
- 2 1/2 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
For the crispy oat top:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan margarine
- pinch of cinnamon and salt
Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees. Throw all the ingredients for the “fruit bottom” in a bowl and mix well so all the fruit is thoroughly coated. Pour it in the skillet and let that sit so everything will meld together while making the crispy oat top. Throw all the ingredients for the “crispy oat top” in a bowl. I then used my hands to incorporate everything together so all oats were coated and the margarine was melted. The oats were semi-clumpy and sticky. Crumble oat crisp on top of fruit. Bake for about an hour until the top turns golden and crispy and the fruit filling is all bubbly.
If you don’t have a 12 inch cast iron skillet, this can still work in a 10 inch or even 8 inch baker’s pan. Of course, you might have to either adjust the amount of fruit used or let it bake longer because it will be thicker.
I love how simple, mistake-proof and tasty this was. One of the things I don’t enjoy about baking is having to measure every single thing out precisely. I was able to eyeball a lot of stuff. This is just one of those dishes where a little less/more flour or a little less/more sugar or margarine just doesn’t seem like it’s going to hurt it. I am so excited to try this out with other fruit. While I really enjoy blueberries, I might go for something that doesn’t give me “blueberry smile” next time!
Have you used a cast iron skillet before? What are your favorite ways to use it?