The crisp, cool mornings and the warm afternoons are my favorites. Back when I was a young mother and wife and had a fireplace, in the evening, I would build a fire to take the chill off the house. Cutting and splitting firewood is hard work (we never had a log splitter only my husband with his maul) and it's great exercise. I liked having firewood all stacked up for winter’s use. Like the squirrels gathering and putting away in preparation for winter, which will inevitably come, doing firewood felt much the same.
On my kitchen counter, I have a peck of apples that I have been contemplating what to make. They are lovely sitting on the table so I took a photo. I think of Laura Ingalls Wilder and of her apple orchard of hundreds of trees. She must have used apples in every way possible.
I thought I would make applesauce for winter use. Or, I thought I could make some apple butter for our biscuits. I love homemade biscuits with butter lathered on top with apple butter. I prefer the recipe with just a hint of cloves in it.
Besides eating the apples raw after rubbing them round and round on my jeans to “wash them” of course, I decided finally to make a pie.
My first project was an apple Betty crumb pie found on Pinterest. It was good. I took some to sister Debbie on my visit. She liked it but disappointed, I could tell, because it didn’t have “oatmeal” in it, which struck up the conversation about the school’s apple crisp which we both agreed we loved.
Back home, in my kitchen, I decided to try and duplicate the “school’s apple crisp" we had reminisced about. One of my favorite school lunches back in the day was chili, peanut butter (with honey in it) chocolate milk and apple crisp. Simply fabulous! I remember the school’s apple crisp being gooey—just the way I like it. (I’ve made a crisp recipe a few times over the years but somehow mine never quite measured up.) Do they even serve apple crisp at schools anymore?
I started with the same recipe for the apple crumb pie, but improvised it a bit by adding a few key ingredients. Oatmeal and water. Yes. The recipe I was working from didn’t call for water. But I thought about it and I knew the additional water would make it bubbly. Gooey. This recipe turned out just the way I remembered it. And so much easier than making a crust, but I by those prepared already.
So Here's the Thing... I encourage you, if you are like me and love that lunchroom cafeteria meal, to put on a pot of chili and lather a slice of bread with peanut butter and allow it to transport you right back to the days of your youth and by all means, Take Joy!
Sherry’s Farmhouse Apple Crisp
Crumble Topping: 1 Cup flour; 1 Cup old-fashioned oatmeal; ½ Cup brown sugar; ½ Cup white sugar; 1 tsp. cinnamon. ½ cup softened real butter. Crumble together with hands. Set aside.
Apples: Peel and core 4 large apples into small pieces. Toss with ½ teaspoon lemon juice so they don’t brown. Add 1/3 cup sugar (more if your apples are tart.) 3 Tbsp. flour; 1 tsp. cinnamon. (My secret additive—Add ½ cup water. This makes it gooey.) Toss together and place in an 8X8 pan. Cover with crumble topping. Prep time is about 15 minutes.
This recipe is even better the next day, if it lasts that long.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Eat it hot out of the oven with a drizzle of milk, or cream over it! Scrumptious.