I have to admit that I love making apple crisp in the winter time.
The smell of it permiates throughout the house.
It sends me through a time warp of past memories.
Just the simple smell of crisp is uplifting.
Its the reason we work so hard in the fall preparing large freezer bags full of sliced and peeled apples. Enough to fill half a chest freezer! The apples were a combination of ones we had picked from my mother-in-laws house 15min from here and the rest were from our neighbour's tree. Its so close we don't have to leave our property to pick them! (but we do get permission first!)
Its so simple (and way too easy) to make a crisp at the drop of a hat with the apples already peeled and sliced, all you have to do is thaw out the amount you want.
Once thawed (or in the above picture semi-thawed) you can arrange them in a baking dish.
The topping is so simple a child could make it...as illustrated by my 4 year old son Owen.
Although if Owen were in charge of ingredients, it would be an all-sugar topping.
So Mum takes charge of ingredients...and Owen is in charge of "smashing" the topping.
Start with the dry ingredients:
1/2 cup of white flour
1/4 cup of quick oats
1/2 cup of brown sugar packed
1/4 cup of white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more if you like)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Blend thoroughly. Add 8 tbsp of butter or margerine. Cut in the butter with pastry knives or a device like Owen is using. Its so easy you can do it in front of the tv!!!
The picture above features the pre-oven version.
Sprinkle the crumb-like topping evenly over the top of your sliced apples. Some cookbooks I've read say to knock the pan a few times to settle the crumbs. I gently shakes my baking dish from side to side.
It's up to you. Whatever floats your boat...
And here's the finished product! You bake this beauty at 375 degrees F for 55min.
Your house will smell yummy and your tastebuds will love this winter warmer!
- Add rhubarb chunks in with the apples and switch the brown sugar for white sugar for a sweet, tart flavour.
- Add frozen raspberries or strawberries for a taste of summer.
- Add cubed cheddar on top of the topping for a savoury twist ("Apple pie without the cheese is like a hug without the squeeze!" a direct quote from my cousins)
- Add a swirl of maple syrup on top of the topping for a sweet and naturally Canadian taste.
- Add chunks of caramels (you can buy them at The Bulk Barn) on top of the topping for a decadent dessert.