kid-friendly · Recipes

Classic Apple Crisp

It’s apple season, and lucky for me, Georgia takes after her mom: she LOVES all things autumn! From apple picking to hayrides, cider, fruit crisp, Halloween, pumpkin patches and cinnamon donuts, she can’t get enough and is the best companion for fall fun. We go to the apple orchard every year for u-pick, and stretch our peck of Macoun and McIntosh for weeks with cozy recipes and snacks. Last month, I shared an easy apple topping for pork chops with a promise to follow soon with an apple crisp recipe. Here it is!


Classic Apple Crisp

INGREDIENTS

  • Half a dozen apples (enough to fill a 9×13 baking dish) peeled, cored & sliced
  • lemon juice and cinnamon to taste
  • optional: nutmeg if you like the flavor

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats (quick cooking or old fashioned are both fine)
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375 and butter or grease the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish. I like to use that size pan, but you can absolutely make it in an 8×8 instead.

Spread the sliced apples in the pan and then top with the lemon juice and cinnamon (I just eyeball it) and nutmeg if using; stir.

Mix together the softened butter and the dry ingredients until well combined, then spread on top of the apples.

Bake about 30 minutes or until the topping is brown and the apples are tender.

Serve warm with whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream!

Tips:

If it’s not apple picking season and you’re grabbing some at the grocery store instead, I always go for Granny Smith. You want something nice and tart that can withstand being baked without turning totally mushy, and they’re also a great size.

When it comes to softening the butter, I prefer to heat a sauce pan on low and put the butter in, then add the dry ingredients once it gets almost melted. Turn off the heat, stir together, and set aside.

If you’re taking this to a potluck, it also cooks up well in a disposable foil pan instead of a glass baking dish.


My philosophy when it comes to apple crisp is to keep it simple.

We have some top-notch apple crisp makers in my family, and the recipes are all kept in mental filing folders. I’ve picked up most of the makeup along the way as I’ve made my own, only adding some oats to the topping because that’s what I like best. Otherwise, it’s a formula taken from the Betty Crocker cookbook many years ago — as with the cookie recipe on the back of the Toll House chocolate chip package, sometimes the most basic, time-tested ones are the best ones and stay classic for a reason!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween. Rapunzel’s wig survived the festivities, and now I have SO MUCH CANDY in my house, bound for my office candy dish ASAP!

Thanks to the freezer meal workshop I did earlier this year, we all ate a huge pot of chicken chili with beans, and I can’t wait to share that recipe with you. It was so easy and fed the entire eight-person crowd last night, with some delicious sides of guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce, extra sharp cheddar cheese and corn muffins made by my mother in law. I’ll post about that soon! Meanwhile, have a great start to the month of November. Boy is this year flying by. Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here, and I’ll have to turn on the heat in my house. 😉

Meanwhile, enjoy a few images from our recent apple picking adventure to Smolak Farms in North Andover, Mass. (our family- and budget-friendly favorite!) They are offering half-priced apple picking now because it’s the end of the season, so now’s the perfect time to go and grab a bushel for your Thanksgiving pies!

dessert · Grow Your Own Way · Holidays · kid-friendly · Recipes

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb is suddenly abundantly in season, and it’s just begging to be put into a pie or a berry crumble. But why fuss with a pie when you can make something so much easier and, in my opinion, more delicious? Crumble is fast, easy and lets you use that other bountiful fruit: strawberries. I got this recipe from a coworker a couple years ago, and it’s been a hit at every gathering I bring it to.

7a33792314df2ffe00b357f596735753I love how quirky, tart and yet versatile rhubarb is. We didn’t grow any in our garden this year, but a friend told me it’s actually pretty easy to cultivate, so we are going to plant some next year. Do you remember a few months back when I wrote that Mark didn’t want to plant any vegetables? Look how far we’ve come — not only do we have peppers, herbs, tomatoes and zucchini bursting right now, we’re planning on adding rhubarb next year! I’m so proud of him. Maybe I can convince him to do strawberries next year, too?

To make this crumble, start by rinsing and chopping 3 cups of strawberries and 3 cups of rhubarb. This is about one pound of rhubarb, or 4-5 stalks, and about 12 oz. of strawberries (the standard container size). If you’ve never bought rhubarb before — as Mark hadn’t when I sent him to the store for these ingredients — I always say they look like pink celery.

Once you’ve chopped the strawberries and rhubarb into bite-sized pieces, add the 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of (white) sugar. Combine in a bowl and let them sit for half an hour so the juices draw out and blend.

In the meantime, you can make the topping. I like to do it over low heat on the stove, so the butter can melt in the pan and then you can add the oats and brown sugar and flour.

Once the mixture has come together, set aside off the burner and get ready to assemble your crumble. Preheat the oven to 375 and get out a 9×13 baking dish.

Top with the crumble mixture, spreading out evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes; it will be browned and bubbling. You can serve it warm or cool. I like to serve it warm with a bit of vanilla ice cream on the side!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups each of strawberries and rhubarb
  • ½ C flour
  • 1 C Sugar

I let those sit together for 30 minutes after mixing. Meanwhile, make the topping.

Crumble topping:

  • 1 C each of butter (yes, that’s two sticks), brown sugar & rolled oats
  • 1 ½ C flour

DIRECTIONS

Spread the berry mixture in a glass 9×13 baking dish and top with the crumble. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool and serve either warm or cool. I love it with ice cream! I have also used this recipe filling in a pie.

PS: Do you know the difference between cobbler, crumble and crisp?