Tuesday, November 16, 2004


This is one of only two desserts I ever make. (I’m not really a desserty person; most of the time I’d rather have a piece of chocolate than a slice of cake or a cookie.) The other is caramel-chocolate-oatmeal bars, which I am only allowed to make on very special occasions because I am capable of eating the entire pan. Apple crisp is never as tempting or decadent for me, just a homey and wholesome old-fashioned kind of treat. In fact, I come to it relatively recently, having taken many years to get over my aversion to the texture of cooked fruit. I never crave it or gorge myself on apple crisp, but every now and then I make it and it’s good. If I dared to serve it with vanilla ice cream, it might become a vice.

This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. It’s very easy. It claims you can substitute (with some adjustments) pears, peaches, blueberries, or cherries for the apples, but I’ve never tried this. If I do, I’ll let you know.

*Postscript: I later tried this recipe with home-canned peaches in place of the apples (eliminating the white sugar, since the peaches were already in a sugar syrup). It was squishy but great.

5 cups sliced, peeled apples
2 tablespoons granulated (white) sugar
½ cup regular rolled oats
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon
¼ cup butter
¼ cup chopped nuts or coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Peel the apples, cut them into fourths, cut off the core, and slice the flesh. Put the slices in a 2-quart square Pyrex baking dish. Stir in the granulated sugar.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, and spice (I use half nutmeg, half cinnamon). Cut in the butter—which, as near as I can tell, involves putting the chunk of butter in the bowl and using a knife or fork to break the butter into little bits, mixing the bits with the dry ingredients until the mixture “resembles coarse crumbs.” (Don’t worry too much about your technique here—I’ve never been too clear on how to do this, but my apple crisp turns out just fine.) Stir in chopped nuts or coconut and sprinkle the mixture over the apples.

4. Bake the apple crisp for 30-35 minutes, until the apples are tender and the topping is browned.

Serves: 4
Time: 45 minutes

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