Our favorite restaurant in DC is a tiny Belgian jewel named Et Voila. Everything they prepare is elegant, understated, and absolutely delicious. (Beef Carbonnade! Steak Frites! Moules!) Oh, and the service rocks. Sometimes I wonder why we ever go anywhere else? To us, Et Voilais one of those restaurants that feels like home — both for everyday and special occasions.
We rarely splurge on dessert during our visits, but I often can’t resist their Apple Crumble with Speculoos Ice Cream. To me, Apple Crumbles are the ultimate comfort food, and you know how I adore comfort food. In case you are wondering, Speculoos are crispy, bracingly spicy Belgian cookies, and you know how I adore spicy items of all sorts.
So, I wondered: What if the flavors of those bold spice cookies staged a take-over of the crispy topping? Seemed like a good challenge on Sunday afternoon. I rummaged through my spice drawer to assemble a winning team of Speculoos flavors: lots of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, and even a bit of molasses infiltrated the standard topping recipe. Sliced almonds finished off the crumble. Divine. The house filled with the most amazing aroma, and let me assure you: This crisp was a warm and spicy thing of wonder. Serve it warm, with vanilla ice cream. I promise: You’ll never return to your basic apple crumble recipe again.
A few things I’m crushing on lately:
I’m obsessed with Food52’s Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks – Love Ari Shapiro’s Semi-Final Match-up between Near and Far and The Violet Bakery. (And completely agree with the result!) I’m currently pulling for A Bird in the Hand and Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year.
I have a found a kindred spirit blogger on the West Coast – who is as obsessed with cookies and scones as I am… and her photography is stunning. Check out these inspired Brown Butter Muscavado Snickerdoodles on TheDisplacedHousewife. Oh my.
Speaking of photography, SO excited to be attending a photography workshop in Minneapolis at Pinch of Yum’s new photo studio!
Does anyone else love a good Maisie Dobbs mystery as much as I do? I’ve been lost in 1930s Gibraltar with Maisie much of the week… perhaps fitting as we said goodbye to Downton Abby (sob!). At least it had a lovely American ending…
Happy Tuesday all!
Speculoos Apple Crumble
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoons molasses
- ¾ cup toasted almonds
- 6-7 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces (I used Granny Smith)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9x9 baking pan, and set aside.
- Place the flour, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Mix until combined. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour, then drizzle the molasses on top of that. Pulse until the mixture comes together and becomes crumbly, then toss in the toasted almonds and pulse a few more times, until they are well combined in the mixture. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon flour.
- Place the apple pieces in a large bowl, and drizzle with the lemon juice. Stir to combine, then toss the apples with the sugar, cinnamon and flour mixture.
- Place the apples evenly in the prepared pan, then scatter the crumble mixture over the top.
- Bake for an hour — until the apples are bubbling and the top is golden brown.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.