Mom’s Apple Crisp

This recipe is a family favorite from way back, and couldn’t be simpler to prepare. It isn’t tooth-achingly sweet, and doesn’t have a laundry list of ingredients making fresh, fantastic apples the focus of the dessert.

My mom found this recipe in an old vintage Gas and Electric cookbook from the 1950’s or 1960’s, which was my grandmothers. Growing up, she would make it as a quick dessert during the week, or even for Thanksgiving served alongside freshly made pumpkin pie. Now my sister and I make it all the time in our own homes.

The leftovers also make an awesome breakfast; we like eating it cold out of the fridge the next morning.


Mom’s Apple Crisp

Adapted from The Basic Guide to Cooking, Rochester Gas and Electric Home Service Department 
I prefer to mix apple varieties when making a crisp or pie. It creates different flavor and texture variations. I generally use a harder more firm apple that stands up to heat, combined with a softer apple that breaks down slightly. Granny Smith, Ida Reds, Cortland, Crispin are all good choices for firmer baking apples; McIntosh, Jonagold, Golden Delicious and Paula Reds all soften and loose more of their shape. I usually mix and match based on what is available, or whatever is leftover in the fridge, but I always use McIntosh apples. 
4 cups assorted apples (about 3 pounds of apples)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
Crisp Topping
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice

Heat oven to 400 degrees-F, and place baking rack in the lower-middle of oven.

Peel, core and cut apples into slices about 3/8-inch thick, and load into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Cut enough apples to generously fill the dish. I use the 4 cups of apples as a guide, but generally just try to max out the baking dish I’m using since the apples bake down.

In a large bowl, whisk together water, and cinnamon. Dump apples from baking dish into water-cinnamon mixture and toss to coat. Dump apples back into baking dish, trying to create even layers without any empty space.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and butter with pastry cutter, fork or fingers until it resembles very coarse meal. Use hands to press and clump topping together to the size of large peas; scatter over apples.

Bake in oven for one hour; if the crisp topping starts to brown too fast, tent with foil. Crisp is done when apples are bubbling and crisp topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or lightly whipped cream.

The crisp topping is also fantastic for pie!


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