I recently returned from a trip to the Philadelphia area. We went to visit my friends Carol and Larry who live in rural Bucks County, but it was also an opportunity for me to go “home”. I grew up in suburban Philadelphia, and although I left there 34 years ago, it will always be home to me. There is a lot of truth in the saying “home is where the heart is”, and my heart still remains in Philadelphia.
It was the perfect time of year to head east. The days were growing a little shorter, and the nights were becoming a bit crisper. As we drove the quaint country roads dotted with small farms, there were apples for sale everywhere. My friends said they never buy their fruit in a a grocery store, instead for most of the year, they go to these local farms and pick their own fruit.
On one particularly cool evening I baked my Autumn Apple Crumble with some of the crisp local apples we had just purchased that day. It was the perfect dessert to share with good friends over a cup of coffee. For me, this crumble is a little bit oatmeal cookie, and a little bit apple pie. Two things I can never get enough of.
7 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4″ slices
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped small
pinch of salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and stir 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into it. As you are slicing your apples you will put them into the bowl of lemon water so that they do not brown. When all the apples are sliced, drain them and put into another bowl.
Toss the apples in the lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar and nutmeg until they are coated. Place this apple mixture into a baking dish. (About 2 quarts) Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the oats, walnuts( optional), a pinch of salt, brown sugar, and flour until all are incorporated. Then, with your fingers, work in the butter pinching it with your fingers until your mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle this mixture over the apples and bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
Best when eaten warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
For my crumble, I used a variety of Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji and Honey Crisp apples.
Always toss your peeled apples in water with lemon juice (or toss with just lemon juice) to keep them from turning brown.
Below is a guide from Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards that has been very helpful to me when trying to decide which apples are best for which recipe.