For years autumn has been my favorite season of the year, it's not because of school starting (although that may be a reason in future when my son gets old enough), or Halloween, or any other calendar type event that happens. I simply love the crispness of the air, the leaves turning colors and falling down. I love crunching dry leaves on the ground and will purposefully swerve out of my path to step on a particularly large and crumpled leaf - this is one of life's simple pleasures. If you don't crunch leaves, I challenge you to try, it's great! I don't crunch all leaves, I also like to keep and press the colorful leaves (although these have to be fresh so they can dry between pages in a book.) Mostly, I love the desire autumn gives me to bake. Summer is just to HOT to bake and I love to bake so when autumn comes it is time for my oven to get back into use without me feeling like I'm the one baking. I also love the fall produce and love using it to bake - hence the Apple Crisp. It is such a beautifully simple dish that helps me usher in the celebration of autumn. What is your favorite season (and why)?
First you'll need apples (about 5-6 cups sliced)... as if you couldn't have guessed that! I usually mix sweet (braeburn, golden delicious, Gala) and sour (Grannysmith, Jonagolds) apples together.
You'll also need cinnamon (1 tsp) and sugar (2 Tbsp) (I used brown but white works as well.)
Toss the apples in the cinnamon and sugar mix with 1 Tbsp lemon juice as well.
Place in the bottom of a square baking dish (8x8 or 9x9), set aside.
For the crisp part - you'll need oats,
toss them into a bowl (I used the same bowl I used to toss the apples in the cinnamon-sugar - why make more dirty dishes when you can use the same and maybe get a bit of extra flavor?)
You'll also need flour (also 1/2 cup).
add that to the oats,
and some coconut (1/4 cup) - seriously unless you have none in your house do yourself a favor and add it in.
You'll also need butter (5 Tbsp) - NOT at room temperature. You want it chilled.
Cut the butter into cubes and toss in with the oats and flour.
Using a pastry blender (you can also use two forks, but I highly recommend the pastry blender.) Combine until butter is in smaller chunks.
You'll also need some brown sugar (1/2 cup).
Use the pastry blender (or forks) to add in the brown sugar.
You'll still have some chunks of butter and such in the bowl. If your as picky as me, you can use your hands to smooth out the dough...
Simply grab the large chunks with a bit of the fine mixture and grind through your fingers.
It makes the mixture a lot more fine.
Now you're ready to top the apples.
Pour the oat mixture over the apples,
spread evenly across and bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes or until topping is browned.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Enjoy! Works great with vanilla ice-cream.