Apple Crunch

Whether you call it a crunch, crumble or crisp, it’s the perfect autumn dessert.  This particular recipe is the one Mom has always used, and now it’s the one I use as well.  If it’s put together right and bakes up well, the ingredient ratios yield just the right balance of apple and topping.  It’s delicious home-style comfort food.  I’ve eaten many variations on apple crisp in restaurants, but they’re never as good as homemade, and as easy as it is to make, there’s no reason not to do it yourself.

The original recipe comes from the cookbook What’s Cooking in Kentucky by Irene Hayes, and the recipe was contributed by Elva Holcomb of Ulvah, Kentucky.  Salem ladies can also find this recipe on page 99 of the church cookbook.  The original instructions are pretty sparse, but mom and I have learned a few things about making this turn out well over the years, so I’ll include our notes after the original.

Apple Crunch

Peel and slice 3 large apples.  Place in a well-greased pan.

Combine:

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup quick oats

Sprinkle over apples.  Bake 35 minutes in a 350° oven.

For starters, I would prepare the topping before you peel and slice the apples so they won’t turn brown.  An 8×8 baking dish is a good size for this recipe. 

When you combine the ingredients for the topping, it is important not to overmix them.  You just want to combine them until the butter is in small pieces and the mixture is crumbly.  A fork is good for this, or a pastry blender if you have one.  If it is overmixed, it all just sticks together in wads like dough, and it does not bake up right, as I know from past experience.  I find it easiest to combine the sugar, flour and oats first, then cut the butter into it. 

Regarding the apples, I usually use four or five, partly because they are usually fairly small, and partly because I’m not adept at peeling and coring, and I tend to pare off a decent amount of fruit.  Slice them thinly so they’ll cook up well.  Tart varieties of apple are best for baking.  Granny Smiths are good, but they are not as juicy as some varieties, so you might consider mixing them with another type.  Braeburns are good, and most supermarkets carry that variety.  When I baked this particular crisp, I used two Granny Smiths and two of a softer, juicier variety called Empire that I picked up at Doud’s Orchard.  They complemented each other nicely.  The Granny Smiths were more firm and kept a bit of bite to them when cooked, and the Empires cooked down a bit more and kept it moist.

Be sure to spread the topping evenly over the apples so the butter will distribute throughout as it melts, and cover the apples thoroughly so they won’t stick up and dry out or burn.  Bake as directed above, and enjoy!  Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream go nicely on top!

Apple Crunch

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One Response to “Apple Crunch”

  1. Holiday Baking: Sweets for the Sweet (and my family!) « The Gumball Machine Says:

    […] The Gumball Machine You have to put something in to get something out, and you won't always get what you expect. « Apple Crunch […]

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