As a follow-up to my braised lamb post, I thought I’d write up another recipe that features cubeb as a prominent flavor. I know, I know. Cubeb is a lot like pepper, and it’s kind of weird to put pepper in a dessert. But go with it. It’s good stuff.
For the Filling:
8 apples (preferably a mix of different varieties, at least half of which should be Granny Smith)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. tapioca flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cubeb
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
The juice and zest of 1/2 lemon.
For the Topping:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup AP flour
1/3 cup nuts (I like walnuts or almonds)
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 tbsp. chilled, cubed butter
Preheat your oven to 400F, and butter a 9×13″ rectangular baking dish. Peel and core your apples, then slice them into 6 even segments, storing the segments in a bowl of cold acidulated* water as you go.
In a different bowl, add your brown sugar, tapioca flour, lemon zest, and all your spices, and whisk to combine. Drain your apple slices and add them, along with your lemon juice, to the bowl of spices. Mix thoroughly with your hands, then spread the apples (and any juice at the bottom of the bowl) evenly in the baking dish.
Then, place your sugar, rolled oats, flour, nuts, cinnamon, butter, and a pinch of salt all in the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse four or five times, until the butter is integrated and the nuts are chopped, but not everything is of an even size. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the apples, making sure that they are covered all the way to the corners.
Bake for 40-50 minutes.
*Acidulated water = water with lemon juice. I use the juice of one lemon, plus 8 cups of cold water.