You know the expression ‘easy as apple pie’? Well this is easier.
I was born and spent a large part of my single-digit years in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. During that time my mother and our neighbour got together and wrote a cookbook of Maritime recipes: Two Cooks in a Kitchen. You can even get it on Amazon for about $7. This recipe is on page 84.
I remember one summer we borrowed another neighbour’s car, a slick BMW, and drove to the Annapolis Valley to go apple picking. At one point, I was foraging for windfalls in an orchard when I heard a rustling above me, and then my dad fell out of the tree next to me. Ah, childhood. We returned with bushels of apples and huge jars full of fresh honey and apple cider. It was a great day. Apple crisp, one of my mother’s specialties, always reminds me of that day.
The recipe calls for Gravenstein apples, but anything other than Granny Smith will usually do. You don’t have to get too fancy with the cutting, and don’t worry if your apples are a little bruised. I like to leave the skins on my apples, but you can peel them if you want.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a bowl combine one cup flour, one teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter, and 1/2 cup oats. I use a pastry cutter to mix them together. The mixture should be crumbly looking.
Butter a 1.5L casserole dish (cooking spray just will NOT do) and sprinkle 1/3 of the crumb mixture on the bottom.
Slice up 6 or 7 medium apples, and plonk them in the dish. I press them down a little bit so everything fits.
Top with the remaining crumb mixture. Again, I like to pat this down a bit just to keep everything together.
Cover the casserole and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 30 minutes. Alternately, you can leave the whole thing uncovered – just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. It’s done when the top is a nice golden brown. Serve immediately with ice cream or whipped cream. I *may* (maybe) have eaten this for breakfast more than once (but without the ice cream, I’m not that decadent).