Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just playing

I spotted a few neglected apple trees on my way through the hills today, and just had to get my new camera out to play. I can't believe they were just hanging (or laying) there, going to waste. Don't the owners know that they've got cider "on the hoof" out there?

When I was a kid, we'd take a tarp out to the gnarled old apple trees scattered around the field and pile it high with the "drops." Even if they have a few spots, most of them taste just fine. Apple pie, apple crisp, fabulous apple cider - and homemade apple jack, as I recall. (Dad let us try a taste once or twice. It had a funny "bubbly" taste completely different than the Woodchuck cider I drink these days.)

Three different apple trees by the road. I'm not very good at spotting varieties, but I did find the variation in colors interesting. The apples ranged from Easter pastel to dark plum in the space of 20 feet. It seems a shame to see them go to waste.


Apple Crisp - a basic recipe

6 or 7 apples of the variety of your choice. (Firmer, tart apples are better)
1/2 cup raisins or dried sweetened cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup (one stick) of unsalted butter, not too soft
1 cup of flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flax seed meal (optional, but it makes this officially a healthy treat)
lemon juice
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°.

Crumb Topping

Slice butter into pea-sized pieces. Combine in small bowl with brown sugar, flour, flax seed meal and spices to taste. Using hands or pie cutter, mix until the ingredients resemble damp sand. A few small chunks are not only okay, but add interest to the end result.


Peel, core and slice apples thinly. Mix in raisins or cranberries if desired. Oil casserole-sized baking dish using spray oil (or drip into pan and use an apple slice to spread it around). Layer roughly half of the fruit mixture into the dish. Sprinkle roughly a teaspoon of lemon juice over the fruit, followed by half of the crumb mixture. Layer remaining fruit into dish, followed by another dose of lemon juice and the remaining topping.

Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes, or until the fruit in the center has softened. Enjoy for breakfast or after dinner, with ice cream, cool whip, chocolate syrup, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

No comments: