In Connecticut in the fall, when the days become crisp but sunny and the shadows are long, apple picking is a time-honored tradition. Don’t even talk to me about those waxy specimens they sell at the grocery store — there is nothing like an apple picked fresh off the tree. I especially like collecting drops; they’re the cheapest apples money can buy, and as long as you pick carefully, they last just as well in cold storage. This year, the hot, dry summer* made the apple harvest end early, but I was fortunate enough to have gotten in some end-of-season picking before everything in my area was gone. And my first stop? Apple crisp.
The variety of apples you use in apple crisp doesn’t matter much; in fact, I prefer mixing my favorites to get the most robust, rounded flavor. Check out a chart like this one or this one if you’re interested in learning more on the subject. My single hard and fast rule is to avoid Red Delicious. Aside from the fact I personally harbor a deep hatred for these most picturesque of apples, they are objectively terrible for anything except eating raw and being photographed.
Oh, and make sure you have some vegan ice cream on hand; for me, the contrast of hot and cold, spicy, tart, and creamy is the best part of this dish.
- 10 heaping c tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ½" thick
- 1 c sugar
- 1 c water
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 1 c flour
- ¾ c quick oats
- 1 c brown sugar
- ½ c vegan margarine, melted
- Spread apples in an ungreased 9×13″ pan.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, water and cornstarch.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and semi-translucent.
- Pour mixture over apples.
- Sprinkle apples generously with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, and brown sugar.
- Stir in the margarine until mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle streusel evenly over apples. Press lightly.
- Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until apples are tender and streusel is golden.
- Serve hot, with a dollop of vanilla soy ice cream.
*Oh hey, what’s up, our dying planet?