Friday, December 30, 2011

Foodie Fridays: Apple Crisp

From Taste of Home

Years ago I attended a university in the apple-growing region of upstate New York, and it was here that I discovered the Cortland apple.  It was love at first bite!  This delicious fruit has a thin skin, soft flesh, and a slightly tart flavor, much like a MacIntosh apple but slightly sweeter, and it became my favorite eating apple.  Unfortunately, when I left upstate New York I discovered that the Cortland apple had an evil twin, sharing none of the qualities of my favorite except for the name.  The few times I was able to find Cortland apples in supermarkets outside of New York they turned out to have tough skins, hard flesh, and a sour, unpleasant taste -- suitable for cooking, perhaps, but totally unacceptable for eating fresh.  I dubbed these "supermarket apples" and learned to avoid them.

Last year I sent gift boxes of apples from an orchard in New England to my relatives for Christmas.  My relatives got MacIntoshes, but when I found out that the orchard had Cortlands, I asked if they were the good variety or the supermarket apples.  Assured that they had my favorites, I ordered them, and I was not disappointed.  They were just as wonderful as I remembered, and I was delighted.  This year I ordered them again, but to my chagrin, they turned out to be the supermarket variety.  What a letdown!  Needless to say, I will not be ordering them in the future (I may try the MacIntoshes), but now I have a box full of apples that cannot be eaten raw.  I can either feed them to my horses and donkey, or I can seek out my best cooked apple recipes and deal with them that way.  My first choice will be to make an Apple Crisp.  I use a recipe from an old Pillsbury cookbook that is quick, simple, and tasty.  Even if you don't have a surplus of apples to use up, make yourself this comfort food on a cold winter day -- it is guaranteed not to disappoint (unlike a certain New England orchard that shall remain nameless for now)!

Apple Crisp

6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 6 C.)
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. water
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Place the apple slices in the bottom of a 9-inch square pan.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and water.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl to form a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle over the apples.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes until apples are tender.  Serves 6.

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