Apple Crisp, column 9-28-20
The Covered Dish
Debbie Dance Uhrig
I can remember coming home from school in the fall, opening the back door of our house and smelling the aroma of this marvelous dish. It’s seems like it’s always the simpler things in life that bring us such enjoyment. People watching, the positive comment made by a friend, a cup of good coffee, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made by the grandkids. The lists can go on and on, but the bottom line reminds the same. There’s more enjoyment in the simpler things.
Apple crisps, crumbles and apple brown betty’s are all basically the same thing each presented in unique ways from different parts of the country. For me the crisp or the crumble has a topping that presents more of an oatmeal crumble topping. With apple brown betty I have seen cooks prepare the apples with oatmeal topping and dried bread crumbs. Some will sprinkle the crumbly portion not only on the top, but also throughout the fruit. It’s all in how you like it and how you grew up. When I was a young girl we served this with fresh cow’s cream or ice cream. It doesn’t take long to make since you’re not dealing with a pastry crust. Even a caramel drizzle is yummy, over the top.
Not a fall goes by that I don’t wish for the season to be longer. It’s my favorite time of the year. A cool morning may mean a sweatshirt or light jacket, but by noon even a fall picnic is a popular outing. Since I’m reverting to childhood in this column I’ll just mention how our family ‘always’ took a fall picnic to Nauvoo, Illinois. We would take the river road, (sorry, forgot the number) and drive along the Mississippi River passing beautiful leaves and duck blinds! I can remember hollering from the back seat when we spotted what we thought, would be the perfect picnic spot. I remember a few years it was soooo cold and windy that we set records for the world’s shortest picnic! A trip into Nauvoo meant a visit to the old dime store and ‘sometimes’ a meal at the old Hotel Nauvoo.
Like my grandparents, who were avid farmers, I’m busy putting things in the freezer for winter. This week it’s pineapple zucchini bread and carrot salad. Next I’m thinking about a few meat loaves and Salisbury steaks. This week I embraced home projects, sourdough bread, and preparing flowers for winter. People ask me all the time if I’m bored. What….there is plenty to do.
How about a quick chat on electric skillets. My sister-in-law, Terri frequently uses her electric skillet for cooking. I decided it could come in quite handy, since I’ve never had one. My new one is by Presto and it’s about 11 x 16 in size. The great thing is it folds down within itself. This week I made smothered pork sirloins in mine. As soon as I take the time to pen the recipe I’ll post it. Why? Well frequently I can purchase the pork sirloins for around $1. Per pound. Quite an inexpensive meal, if I must say so. I did a batch that had bones, I seriously suggest using boneless! The trick is to sear the meat, make the gravy/smothered portion, return the meat to the mixture and lower to simmer for a couple of hours. Then the meat serves well in presentation and it’s very tender.
There are several reasons to own an electric skillet. #1, it goes camping or road tripping quite nicely. Who says you can’t pull into a picnic area and fry breakfast or a batch of fresh hamburgers! #2, when there are large numbers to cook for this is an extra burner. #3, my favorite, lower it to simmer and it holds steadily. As you look towards ‘possible’ family dinners electric skillets and roasters come in quite handy. While I’m mentioning roasters, let me throw out a tip or two. I purchased a new roaster in 2019. I had my first one for like 17-18 years. The ‘only’ reason it was replaced was the following: When I used the liners, made for roasters, they melted into the side of the roaster! Take it from my heartbreak, it doesn’t come off! Also try to refrain from loaning out your roaster, I learned the hard way on that too. If your church or organization needs roasters for fundraisers, the first of November is the best time to purchase.
Grab those kids and grandkids and keep making memories friends. Set down for a spell’ and enjoy the simple blessings. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
6 medium apples, cored, peeled & sliced
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup softened butter
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced apples in greased 8 x 8 baking pan. Blend remaining ingredients and put over the top. Bake 30-35 minutes until apples are tender when poked with a knife and top is golden. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Betty Dance (my mom)