Apple crisp isn’t going to change your life. I can promise you that.
But what it might do is make you feel like everything is all right with your world; that your insides are warm and fuzzy and nothing bad can happen. And that nothing makes you feel better than ice cream melting into cinnamon and nutmeg with warm apples and crunchy-buttery oats and nuts.
Apple crisp is a comfort food, my friends. At least in my house it is. My mom always makes at least one apple crisp every fall, and when I was a freshman at college she drove six hours to visit with a pan of still-warm apple crisp to help me move in the right way.
And that is comforting.
Apple Crisp (makes enough to serve a large crowd, or have lots of leftovers to be warmed up later)
for the filling:
- 10-12 mixed varieties of apples (Empire, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Braeburn…), peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 C sugar
- 2 T lemon or lime juice
- 1 t cinnamon
for the topping:
- 1 C whole-wheat flour (I was out, so I used all-purpose)
- 3/4 C almond meal
- 1 C brown sugar
- 1 C whole walnuts
- 1 C old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 C butter (1 stick, chilled)
- 2 T maple syrup
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 t cinnamon
- freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/2 t)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The first big step is to peel, core, and chop the apples–and this step is much easier when you have one of those nifty apple corer and slicer things. I do, thank goodness. Mix in the sugar, spices, and lemon or lime. Pour the apple mixture into a large dish–mine is 10′ x 15′. The apples should come right up to the top (but don’t worry, they’ll cook down later). Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping. Cut the butter (it’s better if it is a bit chilled) into small pieces into the bowl. Use your hands for the easiest mixing, blending the flours into the butter until it is the texture of sandy pebbles…if that makes any sense.
Crumble the mixture over the top of the apples, and dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Bake on the middle rack until the apples are soft and bubbly and the top is golden brown, about an hour.
Please, please, oh please, serve with ice cream. Warm.
And when you reheat this, do it in the oven and not the microwave. Your mother will thank you. And so will your belly.
One of the best parts of this is the big walnuts–and that’s coming from someone who’s not a big fan of nuts inside desserts.
And if you’ve had a hard day at school, or a long day at work, or a fight with your hubs, or you are feeling down for any reason, really…this is your dessert.