Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Apple Crisp

A trip to the apple orchard here in Central Illinois is one of my family's fall traditions. It gives us a chance to go out into open country and appreciate nature a little more.

My boys and any friends who come along love running down the rows of apple trees and seeing who can pick the fruit highest up the tree. The kids usually eat their weight in apples before we're done filling up our bags — it's all part of the experience. 

We pick more apples than we need. At home, we make at least one apple pie before we switch over to apple crisp.

This year, Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples were ready when we went picking. I've never used either in baking and am surprised at how well these apples melt down while keeping some firmness.

When it comes to making the crisp topping, I'm not a purist. With this dessert, I added some shredded coconut and chopped nuts, just because I had a small amount of each taking up space in the pantry. When you're mixing things up with brown sugar, cinnamon and butter, it's bound to taste delicious.

Mangia! Mangia!

Apple Crisp

4 cups apples, peeled and sliced (A mixture works best. Add a Granny Smith for tartness.)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
1/8 cup to 1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/8 cup to 1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger or ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Place apples in pan to evenly cover the bottom. (If you double the recipe, use a 9 x 13 inch pan.)

In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (or cloves.) Place butter in bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, blend butter into dry ingredients until crumbs form.

Generously sprinkle crisp topping over apples to cover. (You might have some topping left over. Save it in the fridge or freezer to use on oatmeal.)

Place on the middle rack in your oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the topping is browned and the apples are bubbly.

Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

My boys Max and Sam and their friend John goof around after picking apples.

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