It’s fall, which means warm, comforting crisps and crumbles are in season. Apple crisp is a classic, and a great choice now that apples are at their peak. A simple crisp is a great way to use up apples from the tree in the back yard, or those overflowing farmers’ market stands – I like using a combination of apples (Granny Smith, Jonagold and Ambrosia, for example) for a more complex flavor. Apples also pair well with other fruits, especially berries – I love tossing a handful into the filling before covering it with a rubble of sugar, butter and oats.
The best thing about an apple crisp – besides the comfort factor – is the fact that it can be tossed together without paying much attention to measurements. Leftovers make a fantastic breakfast, served warm or cold with vanilla yogurt.
Easy Apple Crisp
adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2003
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds (optional)
3 lb tart apples, such as Granny Smith, thickly sliced (peeled or not)
1-2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, raspberries or blackberries (optional)
juice of a lemon (about 3 Tbsp)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
To make the topping, combine all the ingredients in a bowl with a pastry cutter or fork – or pulse in the bowl of a food processor – until well combined and crumbly. Toss in the almonds, if using.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Put the apples and berries into a 9″x13″ or similar sized baking dish (keep in mind they will shrink as they cook) and toss with lemon juice, then sugar to coat evenly. Scatter with cinnamon and top with the crumble mixture.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until apples are tender and bubbling at the edges and the topping is golden. Cool slightly. Serve warm, preferably with ice cream. Serves 6.