My parents came to visit this week to see their newborn grandson, and it's no small drive for them to get from where they are to where I am. It also happened to be right around my Dad's birthday.
We don't do much for birthdays in my family, but a token gesture is a nice idea. My dad is a really laid back kind of guy and would have been happy with any old desert, but if you made him choose, apple pie is among his favorites.
Slight problem: I have yet to find an easy pie crust recipe that's as good as a carefully complex one, and there's a newborn baby in the house. Apple crisp to the rescue!
Easier Than Pie Apple Crisp
For the apple filling:
10-11 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
just a bit of water
For the sugar and oat topping:
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter (melted)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
While the oven is preheating, add 2 tablespoons butter to a large frying pan and melt over medium heat. Add 2/3 cup white sugar, 2/3 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons flour, and nutmeg to the pan and stir. Gradually add a bit of water or a bit more butter as needed and mix often until the mixture melts into a caramel sauce. Add the apples and coat in sauce, cooking the apples in the frying pan for about five minutes. Then, transfer the apple and all liquid to a 9x13 pan.
Create the topping by mixing together the oats, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 cup flour along with the 1/2 cup of melted butter. Stir well until you have an oat-sugar crumble mixture. Sprinkle this on top of the apples - there should be enough to cover all the apples generously.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm.
That's all there is to it. Simple, easy and quick (depending on how quickly you can peel, core, and slice an apple, anyway). My family loved it and everyone went back for seconds. It's really sweet, but no one seemed to mind.