Sunday, November 14, 2010

how much yummy apple walnut crisp must I make before I stop breaking my toes on this basket full of apples?

Sitting on the floor of my kitchen is a large round basket with a heavy handle. It looks like an Easter basket for a giant- the thing is huge. I cannot even remember where I got it. I use it when I am taking food to parties - makes me feel very Martha Stewartish. This is the basket we used to pick apples- it was perfect. It was easy for Matthew to run up and down the aisles of trees hanging heavy with apples and then run back to drop his catch in the basket. This basket has been sitting on my kitchen floor since we got home from apple picking, sometime last month. I have slowly been using the apples- cutting them up for Matthew and I to share as an after work snack, making pies and apple crisp for Brad, creating yummy apple bread... Mainly what I have been doing with this basket is tripping over it. Daily. Now that the weather is turning colder I might have to put the basket and the remaining apples in the garage so more toes aren't broken. The problem with that, though, is if we don't see, or trip over, the basket every day then we will forget to eat the apples. And a large basket of mushy apples is not what I want to accidentally come across while out in the garage searching for trash bags or a lost boot. The basket will stay on the kitchen floor until it is empty. And I will remember the beautiful sunny day our little family went apple picking every time I slam my toes into it.

A few nights ago I created an apple walnut crisp with these apples and a few other items I had on hand. Some of you have asked for the recipe, which didn't exist  until I was tossing items in the bowl. It was yummy though- hard to go wrong with brown sugar and oats!

 4 large apples, peeled and chopped
unsalted butter
brown sugar
oats (I used steel cut but any kind would be good, I would imagine.)
walnuts, chopped.
cinnamon, to taste
nutmeg, to taste

I have no measurements because I truly just tossed the ingredients together. Toss chopped apples, approximately 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, honey (to coat), and spices together in a bowl, set aside. In a separate bowl mix oats, walnuts, brown sugar and spices together. Add enough melted butter to make a crumble. I use a bread pan for this recipe, which is one of my favorite cooking tools- I use this pan to make meatloaf, bread, apple crisp... Push half of the crumble into the bottom of the greased pan. Add the apple mixture on top. At this point you might need to drizzle honey over the apple mixture, if the apples are not juicy enough on their own. Add the remaining crumble on top. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the apples are cooked to your desired mushiness. I like them a little crisp still, which is about 40 to 45 minutes.

This is an easy recipe to alter- you can toss in dried cranberries or another fruit. You can make one large crisp or small individual ones. And of course, topping with vanilla ice cream or home made whip cream is always yummy!

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