How do you like dem apples?

Macintosh apples at Honey-Pot Hill Orchards, September 20, 2008

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Can’t-Mess-It-Up Apple Crisp

A few weekends ago, I took part in the wonderful New England tradition of apple picking. My friend Elizabeth and I drove out to Honey-Pot Hill Orchards in Stowe, where there are rows upon rows of Cortlands, Macintoshes, Honey Crisps, and even pears. When you enter the orchard, you have to choose the size of the bag you’d like to pick. Faced with all the apple abundance, it seemed silly to take the small bag (4 lbs) or the medium bag (10 lbs). With Elizabeth egging me on, I took the big bag. Twenty pounds of apples.

Needless to say, twenty pounds of apples is quite a lot. After eating my fill, I made a huge pot of applesauce. Didn’t make a dent. Elizabeth swore she was making pie with all her apples, but given my propensity for messing up anything that has to do with baking, pie didn’t sound like a good idea.

So I tried making apple crisp—a dish I have loved for years, regardless of the fruit in it. The bag I picked the apples in had a recipe on it, so I tried that. It came out well, but didn’t necessarily have the proportion of crisp to fruit that I wanted. I like a good few inches of fruit under a thick layer (maybe three quarters of an inch?) of crisp.

So I experimented a little bit, to the delight of my friends and roommates. And I learned two things: 1. Crisp is ridiculously easy to make. 2. It’s nearly impossible to make a bad crisp.

Here’s the basic recipe: Continue reading