Sunday, January 24, 2010

OMG...January's almost over !

This is what's left of an 8x8 square dish of apple crisp I made tonight. It's a lovely dessert, apple crisp. These are some apples from the freezer that we picked with our grandson at a local orchard, a bag of combined Winesaps and something. We wound up with about 65 pounds of apples, I think, and I made apple butter from some and froze some for pies and crisps.

Apple Annie was a nickname bestowed on me by my friend Art. Art died 2 years ago, or was it three now? When we lived in North Carolina, a group of internet friends came to visit us for a weekend, and we took them sightseeing and to a couple of orchards. Art was the New Jersey KING of apple pies. He had retired to the NC coast, and I met him through a group of friends in Florida. He was a delightful little Italian man, who would bring huge homemade lasagnas every time we all got together. They were magnificent! He was the penultimate guest at our house, and he visited regularly. I saw him about 3 weeks before he died, he and his 2 dogs came to visit, and the Irishman took him to a baseball game. He was having a hard time then, it was easy to see that he was ill. He never came to visit empty handed, and this time he brought me a resin Squirrel hide-a-key, and we laughed until we peed when the dogs kept barking at it. Every year, he would make dozens of apple pies and freeze them, so that all he had to do when he wanted one was pull it out of the freezer. Sometimes he ate only apple pie all day, he told me. He bought the freezer boxes from a local bakery. He said baking pies was his hobby.

But, back to AppleAnnie's Apple Crisp!

Fill whatever size pan of apple crisp you need to make with enough sliced apples to fill it heaping full. I NEVER peel apples, but you can do whatever you want. I do, however, wash them thoroughly before I slice them.

Next, sprinkle flour over the slices, stirring as you go to coat the apples. How much flour, you ask? Just enough. Less if it's a small pan, more if it's a 9x13. Probably about half a cup for small and a cup for large. Then sprinkle in a little sugar--not too much, you want to taste the fresh apples, then sprinkle a little cinnamon over it too. Stir it some more to mix it up. Then I slice thin slices of cold butter over the top, dotting it with the slices. And yes, it has to be real butter. None of that plastic gunk, please.

IN a separate bowl, mix up the crisp topping. It is a combination of flouor (I cup), Oatmeal (2 cups), a stick of cold butter sliced into the bowl, about a half cup of brown sugar. Now, mix it like you would for pie dough. Use a pastry blender, if you have one. If not, the same result can be achieved by using 2 butter knives and chopping away . Cut the butter into the other ingredients and add cinnamon as desired. When the mixture is good and crumbly, and in relatiovely small pieces, throw in some pecans or walnuts for good measure. I love a nutty crunch to my crisps. The handful by handful, sprinkle this mixture evenly over the top of your dish of apples. It needs to cover well, but not more than about an inch thick. If you have too much, put it in a container in the fridge where it will keep for weeks and weeks. The stuff I used on this crisp in the picture? I made the topping at Thanksgiving, and my oven went out and I didn't make it. So I put it in the fridge (I rarely throw anything away!), knowing the night would come when I'd ahve a yen for some apple crisp, and an oven that was working. lol

Bake it at about 350 degrees for an hour or so. You'll know when it's done...the house smells heavenly like apples and cinnamon, and the topping on the dessert is...well,...CRISP.

Cooking is not rocket science. In fact, I refuse to believe it's any kind of science at all...more that it's absolute MAGICK!

Bon Apetit!

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