Classic Apple Crisp
October 17, 2011
When I see my children voraciously take down one apple after another, it is hard for me to believe that I hated apples as a child. But you remember those days, do you not? Living in a suburban/ urban community before the food revolution, when an apple was a Red Delicious, donning a shiny waxy coat, stored for too long under the wrong conditions. Apples were mealy and bland with tough skins and I did not want to eat them. At around age 10, I discovered Granny Smiths. Ohhh a tart apple, I began to adjust my verdict, but still they were nothing to sing of. It may have been a long journey, but I have finally learned the virtues of the apple.
We have one apple tree in our backyard, but it supports five varieties of apples, all grafted on different limbs. These are REAL apples. Apples with character, flavor, aroma, variations of texture and shape. The apples ripen at different times keeping our family flush with apples through most of the season. For this we are grateful, because our kids love apples. No need to tell them the “apple a day” story, left to their own devices they would gladly eat more than that. Fortunately, my parents have multiple apple trees, so our pantry generally has a large box of apples to choose from through the months of August and September. We also keep a box full in the fridge for longer storage. What we can not fit in the refrigerator is cooked down into applesauce, sliced and dried, or cut and bagged for the freezer. This ensures we can enjoy the taste of our own apples through the winter.
One of the simplest and most delicious ways to treat apples is to prepare a Classic Apple Crisp. The apples are cored and sliced, then tossed in a bit of sugar. Lay them down in a buttered baking dish and sprinkle a mixture of flour, butter, oats, and brown sugar. Sweet, tart, buttery, delicious. Do not leave out the vanilla ice cream. In fact if you ask my son, he will straighten his posture, squint his eyes, and tell you, “The rule is: you must have ice cream with apple crisp” in a tone that is frighteningly authoritative for a five year old. It is best to do what he says.
Classic Apple Crisp
2 pounds apples (about 5 medium sized Gravenstein, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, or other baking apple)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled (plus more to grease the pan)
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 quart baking dish. (I like to use a large pie dish)
Core the apples then slice into 1/2 inch thick wedges. Toss apples in the granulated sugar and spread evenly in the prepared baking dish.
In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes, then toss it in the flour and sugar mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, work the butter into the flour and sugar until the butter is mostly incorporated, but there are still some pea-sized pieces. Add the oats and toss to mix thoroughly. Spread the flour and butter mixture over the top of the apples.
Bake the crisp for 45 minutes or until the apples are saucy and bubbling and the topping is a light golden brown.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Note: to make a larger or smaller crisp, simply halve or double the recipe.
Print this recipe: Classic Apple Crisp
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