who does not love the smell of apples and cinnamon baking in the oven? it instantly makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. i think of autumn, wood stoves, wearing warm sweaters, and upcoming holiday baking. i haven’t made apple crisp since last winter i think, and having it yesterday made me so very excited for the coming season. i think the scent of it in my kitchen is therapeutic. i will make a mental note to bake it if i ever need some cheering up. it’s so warm and toasty and cozy. i was talking to my mom on skype the other day while she was baking some at home, and it really made me crave it over here.
one thing i love about crisps is that they are really hard to mess up. sure the textures can change a bit with different recipes, but you really can’t not eat warm apples and cinnamon with crunchy crumbles in whatever form they decide to take. that’s just my opinion. i used to follow a recipe when i first made it myself a few years ago, and the results were probably more predictable back then. but now, i like to throw some fruit in a pan and mix the typical crisp ingredients, and top it with some more typical crisp topping ingredients, and pop it in the oven for 30-ish minutes. and magic! it always ends up being perfect and rustic. i like that word and use it a lot. “rustic.” like the smell of apple crisp, the word “rustic” evokes warm and fuzzy imagery in my mind. and i prefer baking that is under this category. the recipes are usually easier to make, and somehow the imperfections that appear always make them more beautiful. i like uneven crusts and messy, bubbly fillings. they look homemade, and after going through the trouble of making something from scratch, that’s the point right?
4-5 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp. sugar
1-2 tbsp. flour (this makes the fruit more syrupy and thick when it’s baked)
1/4 c. raisins
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. oats
3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. chopped nuts
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. sugar (you can use brown sugar if you have it, but white is just as good)
about 3-4 tbsp butter, cut in cubes
preheat oven to 350 degrees. butter or spray a baking pan. for the filling, toss the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, flour, raisins, and lemon juice in a bowl. transfer to the baking pan. In another bowl, make the topping by combining the oats, flour, chopped nuts, cinnamon, and sugar. here you can adjust the ingredients to whatever you prefer really. you can use all flour, add/subtract a variety of chopped nuts. in fact everything in the this dish can be adjusted. you can use any fruit filling! i get excited about it, but anyways, back to the recipe…
cut in the butter with the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two knives. the mixture should become crumbly. sprinkle over apples, (i added some sliced almonds too just because i had some on hand) and bake for about 30-35 minutes. apples should be bubbly and the top should be golden brown. don’t forget to inhale the warm and fuzzy aromas.