I always looked forward to eating apple crisp when I was little. Not only is it a tasty dessert, but it was a dessert that only my grandparents made, so I only got to have some when they came to dinner and brought a fresh batch with them. My strategy was to eat one serving when everyone else did, then snag any leftovers for myself later. My grandma always told me that my grandfather made the crisp, that it was his special dessert. Years later, now that I have finally pried the recipe away from her and gotten a few tips on how they got it to come out so well, I found out that my grandfather’s role consisted of peeling the apples while my grandmother made the crisp.
In fairness, the dessert is so easy to make that peeling the apples is the most work-intensive part of the process. Once they are layered into the pan, they are topped with the “crisp” mixture. This particular topping is somewhere between a very, crispy crumbly topping and a biscuit-like one. The dough for it is too wet to roll it out, but not dry enough to just sprinkle it on. It must be broken up into pieces and arranged. It results in a topping that is pleasingly crispy on top and soft underneath, where it comes into contact with the apples. The flavor is very mild and cinnamon is sprinkled on top before baking, not mixed in with either the apples or the topping.
These days, my favorite way to enjoy this dish is a generous scoop served plain and still warm from the oven. My familiy likes to eat it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Leftovers should be stored in the fridge and the crisp tastes great even when chilled. When we had leftovers, we tended to eat them for breakfast, with a bit of warm milk poured over the top.
6 medium apples (braeburn or other pie type), peeled and sliced*
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F.
Arrange apple slices in an even layer over the bottom of an 9×9 inch baking dish (8×8 will also work).
In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in egg and melted butter. Using your fingers, drop batter in small clumps over the top of the apple slices. Try to create a roughly even, if rustic, layer. It does not neet to be smooth. Sprinkle evenly with ground cinnamon.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until apple slices are tender when pierced with a fork. Topping will be lightly browned.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Serve warm and store in the refrigerator.
*I tend to slice each apple into 10 or so slices, depending on the size of the apple. If your slices are thicker, you might need a few extra minutes to get them tender. If they are thin, you might need a few less. Either way, the thickness of the slices is personal preference.