My mother made this all through my childhood. It's lighter and crunchier than a cobbler. She made her own bread crumbs by drying the bread in a low oven until crispy and running it through the food processor. They could also be broken into small pieces and cut up smaller with a knife. More simply, store-bought unseasoned bread crumbs are a fine substitution.
- 6 apples, Granny Smith or Braeburn, peeled and cored
- 3 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 1/2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 additional tablespoon for greasing the baking dish
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Equipment: 5 creme brulee dishes, shallow and oval
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the center of the oven.
Place the apples on a flat surface, cut them in half, and then into thin slices. Put them in a medium bowl and coat them with a light layer of zest from 1 of the lemons and all of the lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and bread crumbs. Season with salt. Set aside.
Cover the dishes tightly with aluminum foil and place in the center of the oven. Bake until the apples are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil, raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake until the top browns. Serve immediately.