In the front yard of my house in Santa Rosa, California, we have a Golden Delicious apple tree. Having lived in Florida for the last 17 years where apple trees would likely cringe at the thought of 95 degrees, 90% humidity, this fruit tree has been a bit of an oddity for me. And a source of glee. Not knowing at first what the tree would bear (landlord didn’t mention it), we watched the unknown, baby fruit grow, but after I dissected one on a Sunday afternoon, it became obvious we owned an apple tree as well as a house. Cool.
But then the prolific tree began producing fruit. A lot of it… falling all over the postcard-sized grassy area… so I had to take action. I started giving them to neighbors, taking them to work, offering them to any and everyone who would take them. It wasn’t enough… there are so many, it’s as if they reproduce as soon as I pick them.
Brought up in a household where wasting food was the eighth deadly sin, the guilt began weighing on me. So I started to bake. This apple crisp is the first of many recipes I’m concocting. If you have any apple recipes to share, please put them it in the comment area.
Oatmeal, Apple and Walnut Crisp
1/2 cup flour (whole wheat is best if you have it)
3/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1/3 walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup (1 full stick) chilled butter, cut into little bits
6 cups chopped, peeled apples. Granny Smith or Golden Delicious are best
1 teaspoon almond extract (vanilla extract is fine if you don’t have almond)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, oatmeal, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and walnuts in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well. Add butter and “cut in” with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture attains a coarse meal appearance (check out this video on how to cut in butter).
3. In another large bowl, combine apples, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and almond extract. Toss well to coat.
4. Place apple mixture in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly on top.
5. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until apples are tender.
6. Serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt if desired.