Ah, September. I have such mixed emotions about this month, particularly since I no longer look forward to the birthday that’s at the end of the month. Now, September mostly just means that summer is over, I have to put my shorts and t-shirts away, and say goodbye to homegrown tomatoes.
However, I do get to pull out my beloved sweaters. And as tomatoes make their exit, the apples return. Good apples. Like, from Michigan. The McIntosh is my favorite. So there will be fresh apple slices, apple muffins, apple cakes, apple pies, apple dumplings and now this, the apple crisp.
This apple crisp is a variation on the cherry crisp from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Of course, I added a few things here and there (okay, a lot of things) to the filling but only one minor change (the oats) to the topping. Mr. Eats said this was just about the best dessert I’ve ever made. It was really good. The topping is nice and crunchy (even stays crunchy for days) and I think the oats were a particularly good addition (pecans would be good, too). Though, to be fair, I rarely make desserts. I’m planning to make this crisp again, though, but with blueberries I’ve got in the freezer. Because other than peeling and slicing the apples, this is super easy to make.
But, really, you don’t even have to use fresh apples if you don’t want to. If you need to throw something together quickly, substitute apple pie filling. But definitely add some ginger to it (fresh grated will work fine, too if that’s what you have). Skip the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon if you use pie filling, of course.
Autumn Apple Crisp
about 8 servings
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch square chunks
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger (more, to taste)
Crispy Crumble Topping:
1 stick (8 tablespoons butter)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
¼ cup quick oats
Combine all the filling ingredients together in a 9-inch square or 9 x 13-inch baking dish (or in a bowl and then transfer to the dish).
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the remaining ingredients until combined and crumbly.
Sprinkle the crumble topping over the apples in the baking dish and bake at 400F until golden brown (about 30 minutes). Serve warm.