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Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Apple Crisp that makes me feel like a kid again.

And that's no small feat! We won't talk about which birthday I just celebrated, but my 5 year old son tells me I'm still cute, so that helps. A lot, hehe.

This is the kind of apple crisp I remember having as a kid. My mom never made it until I was older--she didn't really like to bake much, but it's the kind you find in a good diner or mom and pop restaurant. Not that we ate in diners a lot, but there was always something special about having apple crisp back then since we never had it at home. It's nice and oaty and crumbly on top, and underneath--nice, sweet, cinnamon kissed apples.

Every year we go to Gould Hill Orchard in Contoocook, NH. (Sounds like Con-took-cook.) It's a family run farm that's 225 years old, and they have over 85 unique varieties of apples, not to mention gorgeous views of the area. They also make their own apple cider that is so refreshing.

Views from the orchard.

We were there in late September, and got a peck of mixed apples including Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Macoun, Paula Red, Swiss Gourmet, Porter--and of course, Cortlands. So I have no clue which apples were used in this apple crisp. For a complete list of varieties and when they're available at Gould's, check out the site. And if you're in the area, I urge you to check out their farm--it's beautiful and peaceful. And you just can't beat the views. If you're bringing kids with you, they have a nature museum in the barn. There's so much to see there, and they have activities and prizes for the kids. We go all over the place with our kids, and inevitably, someone is always bored. ugh. I was floored when we visited their museum, because every single one of my kids--5, 8, 11 and 13--found something to do there that interested them. We spent a good 90 minutes just hanging out there and learning new things. It's run by a dedicated and very approachable former teacher and some wonderful volunteers who loves to share their knowledge with kids and adults alike.

Here are a bunch more pictures I took at Gould's Orchard, because it seems a waste to just let them sit there on my hard drive, never to see the light of day.
As you can see, they also have some cute gifts and locally made products for sale.

Now for the apple crisp! I combined two recipes to make this one. Some of you may remember my ugly, yet so delicious apple pie. I knew I wanted a lot of cinnamon in this crisp, so I immediately went for that filling, from Ann Hodgman in her Beat This! cookbook. That one and Beat That! are two of my favorite cookbooks. Ann has a great sense of humor, and these two books are fun to read cover to cover. I adapted her apple pie filling and her apple crisp topping to come up with this one.

I used 12 apples and got a good sized 9x13 pan full of apples. And by the way, if you make a lot of apple desserts, or even if you make one apple dessert a year that takes 12 apples, you should invest in one of these Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer gadgets. Mine isn't from Pampered chef, but if you're going to get one, get one that clamps on to your counter like that one, not the kind with the pencil sharpener suction cup that never works. You put your apple on the torturous looking prongs, turn the crank, and in seconds, your apple is peeled, cored, and sliced into a long spiral. Run a knife down through the apple after removing it, and you've got perfect apple slices. It's such a timesaver!

So between the topping and filling, there's 5 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Yes, really! Noooo, it's not too much--and don't be tempted to cut back the nutmeg, either. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but not in this. Really! And if I'd thought ahead, I'd have had some fresh whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, anything like that. But no, didn't have any. Damn. Ah well, it was good, just the same. And even better the next day, and the next day...

Cinnamon Overload Apple Crisp
Adapted from Beat This!


1 cup flour
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup unsalted butter, melted


12 cups (about 12 apples) of your favorite baking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (see how that gadget would come in handy here?)
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 TBSP unsalted butter

Heat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry topping ingredients. Add the melted butter, stir until crumbly, and set aside.

Put the apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. In a smaller bowl, combine the remaining filling ingredients, mixing the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly.

Stir the spice mixture into the apples and combine the two, then pour the apples into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Pat the topping over the apples and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Cinnamon Overload Apple Crisp

This apple crisp has 5 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon ...

See Cinnamon Overload Apple Crisp on Key Ingredient.

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VeggieGirl said...

Happy belated birthday!! Love the apple crisp :0)

Patti said...

Those pictures make me homesick. Thanks for the glimpse.

HoneyB said...

I used to love apple crisp when a child. I still love it, I just don't make it often. Now I may have to do just that with your recipe and some apples my mom just brought over the other night!

Maggie said...

I love going apple picking! The best part about that slicer thingy is that my son runs over to crank for me. I'll be trying your crisp soon. It looks fantastic!

Bob said...

Oh man that looks good. I love apple crisp. Apple picking is in my near future, I will have to try it.

noble pig said...

I am licking the screen Elle! Beautiful post and memories! I love apple season and Honeycrisps are may absolute favorite.

Jason Sandeman said...

Apple season has finally arrived! I love to go picking apples here in Quebec, as the courtlands that we have here are to die for. I would love to see what your neck of the woods has to offer as well.

One note for your recipe if you like; you could do without the grease in the pan if you so choose, as the apples will keep the pan you cook in moist. A lot of old recipes called for the butter/grease in the pan because the old pans were hard to clean. (Non-stick did not exist back then.)

Thank you for your inspiring post. I plan to use up some peaches I have as well. Mmmm

Grace said...

niiiiiiiiice. i don't think i've ever experienced cinnamon overload (i have an uncommonly high threshold), but i sure want to try! awesome crisp, elle. :)

kat said...

Apple crispy always reminds me of being a kid too & going apple picking. & can you really have too much cinnamon?!

Heather said...

ohh that looks so good! i am going apple picking this weekend - i am so excited! it's one of my favorite activities. i love the addition of more cinnamon... sounds delicious!

Ben said...

Oh look at all those delicious apples. Nice crisp, I need to make one like that soon :)

Bunny said...

Oh be still my heart I love apple crisp! Great pics Elle I love to see stuff like this!

Sam said...

That orchard sounds amazing!

Apple crisp is one of my favourite desserts especially in the autumn, I like mine swimming in custard!

Deborah said...

I suddenly have a big craving for apple crisp!

Carol said...

Elle-your apple crisp looks mouth-watering-I can't wait to try it!
My daughter and family lives in Jaffrey NH and went apple picking last weekend-will have to tell her about thisso she can use up some more of those apples they picked!
I was born and raised in NH and these pictures make me want to move back...even though we're still close here in MA!!!

Dawn said...

Apple picking time! I can't wait. I love to make an apple pie with sharp cheddar cheese built right into the crust. Mmmm.
I love the toppings you put on this apple crisp. Toppings are good. This rocks sister!

Lauren said...

Oh yum. The apples look absolutely amazing!

taste memory said...

Breathtaking! I want to be there! I think that's why they say *comfort me with apples* thanks for sharing a bit of your paradise

RecipeGirl said...

Loved your pictures. We went apple picking yesterday in one of the orchards of our local mountains but it wasn't nearly as big as the one you mentioned. So cute.

Apple crisp sounds like a must-do with all of my apples. I can just imagine having it nice and warm with a scoop of vanilla melted on top.

Passionate About Baking said...

Great pictures Elle. Am glad they saw light of day!! Love the cinnamon overload. The crisp looks wonderful 7 I can almost smell the nutmeg & cinnamon wafting through my screen! Delicious & warm...YUM!!

Sara said...

Yum, this looks so delicious!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

i know apples are good for me and everything....but i don't know why i just dislike 'em T_T...

until i discovered apple crisp and apple crumble ^_^

Cheri Sicard said...

I just found this blog and it's making me miss New England where I grew up (I've now lived in Southern Calfornia for over 25 years) -- especially during this most beautiful season. Thanks for the great apple pictures and photos. I can almost smell the cider!

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

I really wish we will have an apple orchard here! It looks so much fun to be plucking your way thru' such a variety.

LyB said...

Thank you! I have so many apples I need to use, I will so be making this!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

I want apple crisp so bad now I can almost taste it. That is all :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh yum!! All looks wonderful Elle.

Michelle said...

That would be a really neat place to visit if we weren't on the other side of the country...!

I love cinnamon and apples. You can never have too much cinnamon, it's actually very good for you. It can supposedly help with your heart, and it helps your insulin deal with sugars better. Diabetics, go wild!

I am going to have to make this one!

Mainiac said...

Almost wish I had never found this blog-- now I will never get ANYTHING at all done-- too much good stuff to read. Will definitely try this Cinnamon Overload recipe. You can NEVER have too much cinnamon.

Sophie said...

AMAZING. Definitely one of my favorite desserts! I'm actually going apple picking this Saturday; I cannot wait! I'll have to head over to New Hampshire some time to visit this place, sounds like tons of fun :)!

kittie said...

Oh yum - this post has me craving apples and cinnamon!

Kevin said...

Apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts and that one looks great!

Meryl said...

Oh, Elle, that apple crisp looks absolutely devine! There is nothing like fall in New England. I love the orchards and the feel of the air.

I am, without a doubt, going to make your apple crisp. It looks totally scruptious.

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