Barbara Bretton

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Okay, this time I really did save the best for last. I made this Apple Crisp for Thanksgiving and it was an absolute smash hit! Believe it or not, I'm not an apple pie fan (does that make me un-American? I hope not!) and I'd never tasted an Apple Crisp in my life before I made this one but I am now a convert. Let me know what you think.


5 pounds of great baking apples (I used a mix of Granny Smiths and Galas; McIntosh and Macoun highly recommended as well)
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
(If you don't feel like zesting lemons and oranges, you can find dried zest in the spice section)
2 T orange juice (fresh squeezed is best, of course, but feel free to use Tropicana or Minute Maid)
2 T lemon juice (see above)
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg (this is one of those times when freshly grated really does make a difference)


1 1/2 C flour
3/4 C granulated sugar
3/4 C brown sugar, packed (light or dark; doesn't matter)
1/2 t Kosher salt
1 C oatmeal (plain old Quaker Oats)
1/2 pound cold (COLD!) unsalted butter, diced into small pieces (use salted if you must)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lavishly butter the appropriate size pan. (Maybe 12 or 14 inches by 9 or 10 inches? You be the judge.)

Prepare the apples by peeling, coring, and wedging them. Combine apples with the lemon juice and zest, the orange juice and zest, sugar, and spices. Pour into your prepared dish.

To make the topping, you'll combine the flour with the two sugars, salt, oatmeal and diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the paddle attachment and mix on low until the mixture gets very crumbly and looks like small peas. Sounds peculiar but I guarantee you'll know it when you see it. Scatter this (don't spread or press down) evenly across the apples.

Now cover a sheet pan or cookie sheet with two layers of aluminum foil to catch spills. Place the pan of apple crisp on the covered sheet pan, slide into the preheated oven, and bake for about one hour until the top gets all golden and you see some bubbling action around the apples.

Best served warm with vanilla ice cream or a splash of (God forgive me!) heavy cream.

This is, quite frankly, to die for.



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