This week I’m reaching for an easy, yet delicious fall dish, apple crisp. When it comes to apple desserts; if I can’t have a pie, I’ll settle for an apple crisp ‘loaded’ with oatmeal crumble topping. Isn’t it canny how we remember with specific detail the emotions associated with foods and seasons? I recall coming home from school and smelling apple crisp wafting through our house. It was reassuring and comforting to know that mom would go out of her way to spoil us.
I also want mine served warm, or I’ll have to heat it up in the microwave. The grand finale will be a nice tidy scoop of vanilla ice cream, melting throughout the dessert. Mmmm…
If you have an individual who is gluten-free and need to prepare a dessert they can enjoy, this is perfect. Just remove all the flour and use only oatmeal in the crumble. If the individual is gluten-free because of celiac disease you may have a hard time finding quick cooking oats. Allow me to explain this real quick. Oatmeal is typically gluten-free, but it is usually processed in plants where other gluten products can be found. Therefore the maker cannot put ‘gluten-free’ on the label. So, an individual with celiac would have to decide if they want to take the risk, versus purchasing totally gluten-free oatmeal. Yes, I know it does get rather confusing.
Embellishing the crisp can be so much fun. If you happen to have a pear tree you could easily do a pear rendition. Or, better yet a mixture of apples and pears.
Switching out regular brown sugar for dark brown sugar will alter the flavor. Also using a bit of sorghum could be a fun approach. Real Maple Syrup could come into play along with the addition of chopped walnuts or pecans. If you’re a fan or craisins or raisins, add them for more interest and texture. In the old days we made pies, cobblers and crisps with whatever apple we had on hand. Today we often hear a mixture of firm tart apples along with a softer sweeter apple makes the best pie. The idea is for the softer apple to break down and serve as a thickener for the firmer apples. Every region also has their own varieties of apples. I didn’t realize what a fan I am of McIntosh until my friends, Irene and Willis, from Minnesota, started bringing them to me.
Probably the best part about making a crisp, no matter what the flavor, is the speed in which it can be made. Actually right along with that is the fact that it’s lower in calories than a slice of apple pie! Of course after you drizzle warm caramel syrup over it or you add a couple dollops of vanilla ice cream, it becomes a real toss up!
My personal goal during this upcoming fall season is to take life a little slower. I sorta’ have to with the arrival of football season at our high school. This past week our son, Phillip, scored his first touchdown in JV Football. I think that touchdown may keep him sailing for the rest of the season. He’s really turning into a strong link in the JV squad, as a sophomore he also does time with varsity.
Grab those kids or grandkids, pack a ‘fun’ picnic lunch and head out to the local apple orchard. Don’t forget to pack a pocketknife so you can enjoy the sweet fruit at the picnic. Personally, bring me apple cider, unpasteurized!
Bon appetite, Simply Yours, The Covered Dish, www.thecovereddish.com
6 medium apples, cored, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup salted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
Place sliced apples in a greased 8 x 8 baking pan. Blend remaining ingredients and place over the top of the apples. Bake 30-35 minutes until apples are tender and top is golden brown. Serve with whipped cream of ice cream. Oven set at 350 degrees.
This recipe originated with my mother, Betty Sue Richardson Dance.