What’s for Dessert – Apple Crisp

Full credit for this recipe goes to the Five Roses Flour cookbook, “A Guide To Good Cooking”. Mom gave me this book when I moved out, and I am delighted to have it, because she used it a lot and it’s familiar and comforting, down to the rusty spiral binding, the missing back cover, and the dog-eared and sauce-spattered pages. She has a newer edition for herself now, but I love this old one.

It’s McIntosh season again, so for the past week I’ve been eating two apples a day. They are, hands-down, the best apples in the world and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. They’re tart and crunchy and juicy and perfect. They are apples. The absolute essence of apple. When you buy something apple-scented, it doesn’t smell like a damn Golden Delicious or Pink Lady. It smells like McIntosh, King of Apples.

Since I haven’t quite mastered pie crust yet, I threw together an apple crisp last night so I could enjoy my apples in a warm cinnamony medium.

Apple Crisp

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour (the book specifies Five Roses All-purpose Flour, of course)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
*The book also says to add 1/4 tsp cloves, but Mom never did and so I don’t, either.

Cream butter and brown sugar, then add spices and stir in flour until you get a crumbly consistency.

This amount of topping is just enough to cover an 8×8 apple crisp.

The recipe then says to cover your casserole dish with an inch-tall layer of any fruit “prepared in the usual way”, which I think is hilarious. Obviously a good homemaker knows exactly what to do with various fruit so make them crisp-ready. By this definition, I am not a good homemaker, but at least I can figure out what to do with apples. I always just peel them, cut them into large chunks, toss them in the dish with a few tbsp of sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and then layer the topping over them. To simplify:

Filling (This part is NOT in the book)
5-8 apples (depending on size)
2-3 tbsp sugar

For an 8×8 pan, I needed 7 apples, but they were on the small side. Use your judgement. Don’t fill it too full, because the apples will give off liquid while they cook, and it will start to bubble over. Give yourself some space. Also, leave your apple chunks pretty big, because they break down in the heat and if you start out with small pieces you’ll be left with applesauce under that crumbly topping.

Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.

My picture isn’t very good because the light in my kitchen is lousy for photography, but here’s the finished crisp in all its yumminess. I would have taken a picture of it in a bowl, covered in ice cream that’s slowly melting and dripping down, snaking between delicious golden mounds of soft apples and crunchy topping, but it seemed a little pornographic.

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