I began making this apple crisp while living in Toronto. The basic recipe came straight out of an old Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1987, which is likely the year I began enjoying the dessert. While I was working as a counsellor at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf, I would get together for dinner with a couple of fellow employees who happened to be married. They made the best apple crisp I’d ever tasted and they shared their secret ingredient with me.
For the record, I usually double this recipe and make it in a 9×13 rectangular glass dish. You can substitute margarine for the butter but, in my opinion, it just doesn’t taste as good. My personal food philosophy is that anything with chemicals or unnatural ingredients in it, is far worse for my health than the real thing. I only eat this treat once a year, when apples are in season. When I lived in Canada, I used Northern Spy apples (use less of these because they’re rather large!) but I currently use the McIntosh variety sold at my local apple orchard.
Apple Crisp Recipe
4 cups sliced tart apples (about 4 medium)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup butter, softened (plus extra for greasing and topping)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat oven to 375, grease the pan (yeah extra butter!), arrange the apples in the pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the apples.
Now here’s the secret ingredient. Place pats of butter on the topping. There’s no special configuration, evenly distribute them – maybe 3 or 4 for an 8×8 pan and 5 or 6 for 9×13. It stops the topping from drying out and makes it crunchy.
Bake until the topping is golden brown and apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream!
The original recipe is 295 calories per serving (6 servings in the 8×8 pan, 12 for the 9×13), add the additional butter you used in to get the new calorie count.