Every now and then I like to ask Trevor what his favourite baked good I make is. You would think I would know, but with all the different things I bake and with how often I bake them, he has trouble picking one. I go ahead and ask anyway and after some thought a list is often produced as opposed to a single clear winner. The list usually contains at least one coconut based item and one fruit based item.
Lately, apple crisp has been the latter.
To be honest, I think apple crisp is the single clear winner for him whether Trevor realizes it or not. Here’s why.
Last month, when I decided to make some apple crisp, Trevor got particularly excited by the concept, eagerly offering his services in whatever way possible. Staring at the 5 shiny granny smith apples I had to wash, peel, core and slice, I presented them in his direction, asking if he would be so kind.
He would be so kind.
I felt a litle guilty at this point, knowing full well that in apple crisp, prepping the apples is almost all of the work. Mixing together a little sugar and spice takes what.. 1 minute? Then the crumbly topping takes a smidgeon more work, but you get to do the work by sticking your fingers in it and squishing around like a 5 year old with fresh tubs of unmixed Play-Doh. Not really “work” in the end as far as I’m concerned.
So this week when Trevor requested an apple crisp, pre-emptively volunteering for apple duty, I came clean. I told him about how he was doing about 90-95% of the work required for an apple crisp, how easy all the rest was, and how my part was basically done before he had touched the third apple.
Later that night, through a mouthful of apple crisp, he had something to declare.
“Anytime you feel like making apple crisp, I will wash, peel, core and slice apples for you. Anytime.”
And that is why I think it’s his favourite.
- 5 medium granny smith apples
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Filling: Peel and core apples and cut to desired thickness. (I usually quarter the apples and the cut the quarters into thirds.) Place cut apples in a large bowl.
- Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Pour half the mixture over apples and toss apples until coated. Distribute apples evenly in an 8×8 glass baking dish. Pour/sprinkle remaining sugar mixture evenly over apples. Put apples aside.
- Crisp: Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cut butter into half-inch cubes and add to crisp mixture.
- Using clean fingers, work butter into the dry ingredients by repeatedly squeezing the mixture, breaking down the butter while incorporating it into the mix. Keep working the mixture until crumbly, but not so much that the butter begins to clearly melt. (Alternately, you could cut the butter in, but I feel this is a quick way to do the same thing. Besides, I love to get my hands dirty!)
- Distribute crumb mixture evenly over apples, making sure no apples are exposed.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until apples reach desired tenderness when poked with a sharp knife. (Trevor likes the apples to be clearly baked through, but with a little resistance.)
- Cool on a wire rack and serve when no longer burning hot but still warm. To store, cool completely and then cover with plastic wrap.