Fall is slowly making its way into Northern Wisconsin, a few weeks ahead of time, as it often does.
The aroma of wood smoke is in the air and at dusk I hear the honking of Canada geese, restless now because they know they’ll be heading south soon. Birds are flocking together on utility wires. Sweet peppers have made an appearance at the farm market.
Apples, too, are appearing at the market. The other day I bought a dollar’s worth of rather coarse, tart apples. Not good for eating raw but perfect for apple crisp.
I gleaned the recipe from a staff member at the small Catholic college where I did graduate work during a wonderful year of writing and study. The school focused on wellness, and this recipe is healthy — even healthier the way I make it.
Autumn Apple Crisp
Six firm tart apples (Granny Smith, Macoun), peeled
One tablespoon lemon juice
¾ - 1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup flour
¾ cup oatmeal
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup brown sugar
½ stick unsalted butter, chilled
Slice apples and layer in 8x8 glass baking pan or a pie plate. Drizzle with lemon juice and vanilla. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Add raisins. Set aside.
Combine flour, oatmeal, walnuts and brown sugar. Cut in butter and mix as you would a pastry crust. The result should be a granola-like topping. Spread evenly over the apples and bake at 350 for about an hour, until the topping turns a golden brown.
Serve warm with yogurt or cold with cheddar cheese.
I usually use fructose and a butter-substitute like Benecol or Smart Balance. My flour is usually a mix of oat, graham and soy. I have tossed in dried cranberries or blueberries. There are endless variations.
It’s simple, inexpensive to make and satisfies the urge for something sweet. Besides, it tastes like autumn. You cannot fail with this dessert!