'Smells good,' Leo called from the front room, where he was sitting in his favorite chair by the stove, the dog curled up on a blanket in front of the fire. Mac lifted his nose and sniffed the air. 'He thinks so, too.'
'The dog knows his apples.' Alice laughed. 'He should. He's named after one.'– Alice Shipman (Wade Rouse), The Recipe Box
This type of dessert is fairly simple to make. You can use any sort of apple, but firmer apples tend to keep their shape better when baked. So McIntosh, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp are good choices.
A crisp or crumble usually has a topping, made from oats, flour, butter and sugar, which completely covers the fruit. A Brown Betty (as in 'Apple Brown Betty') is similar to a crisp, but has no oats in its buttery crumb topping and, rather than having the topping solely on top of the fruit, it’s layered throughout, then baked.
- 6 cups (about 1kg) apples
- 1/4 teaspoon (1ml) cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon(15ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) water
- 3/4 cup (180ml) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (160ml) flour
- 1/2 cup (160ml) oats
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon (1ml) nutmeg
- a pinch of salt (what you can pick up between your thumb and index finger)
6 tablespoons (90ml) unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Take the core out of the apples, peel them, and cut them into 1/4 inch (6mm) slices.
Dump the slices, with the cinnamon, lemon juice and water, into an 8in × 8in (20cm × 20cm) tin or glass pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together all the topping ingredients except the butter.
Using a pastry cutter or two knives, slice the butter (or a non-dairy alternative) until the mixture is crumbly. The solid, sticky butter gets coated with the topping, making crumbs. Sprinkle this over the apples.
Bake for about 45 minutes until the apples are tender and the topping is crisp and browned.
Serve it warm with whipped cream, ice cream or a non-dairy alternative.
This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings. The amount can be easily doubled and baked in a 9in × 13in (23cm × 32cm) baking tin. It can also be made into a gluten free recipe by substituting gluten free flour and gluten free oats.