Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Early Apples Make Easy Apple Crisp

My uncle knows apples. He's raised hundreds of trees, knows how to prune and graft like a pro (skills he learned from my grandfather), and is quite a connoisseur of apple varieties. He especially loves eating a good apple and has been knows to drive hundreds of miles to get his hands on a case of a particular variety he's had a hankering for.
Knowing all this, I thought he would know better than to stroll into the orchard one summer afternoon and head straight for the Yellow Transparent tree. Before I could stop him he bit into one of the greeny yellow fruits and began munching with apparent pleasure. "Oh," I said catching up with him, "Those really aren't very good".
"No, Yellow Transparents aren't the best." he agreed between bites. "But they're ripe!"
That about sums up the Yellow Transparent apple. It's the first ripe fruit in the orchard, ripening in Western Washington in July. They're so early I'm always a bit surprised to notice they're ready. This tree is a common site in orchards where the owner is trying to extend the apple season as long as possible by staggering the harvest. Now through October some variety will be getting ripe about every month. The problem is I'm just not in much of an apple mood in July-I'm still picking raspberries for heaven's sake! The Yellow Transparents are okay for baking if you catch them while they're a bit green and still on the tree but turn mealy pretty quickly. At that point they're only good for sauce. One thing I do love unabashedly about the Yellow Transparent tree is this: I suffer no guilt in cutting the gnarly, lichen-covered blossoming branches in the spring to enjoy indoors. If I sacrifice a few apples? Eh, no biggie.
All that being said I am grateful to have at my disposal many pounds of fresh, free organic apples. The following recipe is how I most often prepare them for my family. I never follow a recipe when I make a crisp and once you make this a couple times you won't either. As long as you remember what the major topping ingredients are and the fact that they're combined in equal proportions, you'll be home free. Use the crisp topping for any kind of fruit or berries. It's yummy. It turns any apple into a dessert well worth eating:
Easy Apple Crisp
3-4 pounds fresh apples, peeled and sliced, tossed with-
1/2-1 cup sugar (depending on tartness of apples) and
1-2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
Combine the following in food processor:
1 c rolled oats
1 c flour (I use whole wheat pastry)
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
Pulse above ingredients until combined. Then add-
1 c butter(or coconut oil) chilled and cut into small pieces
Pulse until butter is cut into flour mixture.
Grease a 9x12 (or larger) baking dish. Spread apples into dish then sprinkle topping over them, distributing as evenly as you can. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes-1 hour or until topping is golden brown and the apples are soft in the middle and bubbling at the edges.
Serve with ice or whipped cream. Enjoy!


Kristin said...

This is why you need to live at my house and be the mom! I'm so glad you're posting all the homey things you do--you are truly an inspiring kinda chick : )

Storybook Woods said...

Hey Angie, your recipe is a lot differnt then mine. I will have to give your a try. Clarice-who made a peach crisp yesterday

Q said...

I will try this.
Thank you.

Angie said...

Kristin, Come on over and I'll mother you anytime...

Linda said...

Hi Angie, You blog is delightful. I've always wanted to pick your brain about all the knowledge you have. I would be interested some time to know more about the coconut oil and why you use it. The pictures are great too. Linda (clarice's mom)

Rosemary said...

Hi Angie,
I got here via Clarice.
Love your blog. Check out my blog sometime.

Gumbo Lily said...

Angie! I'm so glad to see you're blogging! Wonderful! Your recipe looks so good and I trust a woman who has access to so many free apples! We love apple crisp and one "new" twist is to throw in a cup or so of cranberries with your apples. Oh, yum. Especially good in fall.


poetrywater said...

Wonderful! Love your blog and so glad you are doing this. I look forward to reading it in the future:)

Isabella in the 21st Century said...

I love apples, but we have different varieties in the UK so I'd never heard of this one before. Can I ask if you're a Steiner/Waldorf crafter/parent? I just thought from your little gnome and you midsummer/faerie shenanigans that you might be...but I'm a right nosy parker so you don't have to answer me!

Angie said...

Isabella-Hello! Clarice from Storybook Woods just sent me a link to your blog a day ago! Yes, when my kids were young I was very into Waldorf education. That influence inspired me to make dolls, create with natural materials and to appreciate the changing seasons. I'm so grateful for the the sense of wonder, play and imagination present in the Waldorf philosophy. We aren't actively involved with Waldorf now (we are eclectic homeschoolers) but those early influences certainly stuck with us!

BTW-no, I don't think you're a Nosy Parker-You may ask anything you wish!!

Midvale Cottage said...

I just found your blog while searching on Yellow Transparents. We have an old Yellow Transparent tree in our yard that is about 90 years old. Everything you say about the fruit is true! Thanks for what looks like a great recipe. Our tree produced apples in abundance this year.

I'm glad I found your blog - great recipes and crafts! Thanks! Oh, and I live in nearby in Seattle.

DanAire11 said...

Hi! I came across your blog while searching for Yellow Transparent apples. My grandma made the world's best applesauce with apples from a neighbor's tree. I remember they were tart apples with green skin and white flesh. We never really ate them as fresh apples, but they made a wonderful and tart applesauce. I think this was the variety she used. She called them "Early Transparents" but they look like these. I've been searching for a local nursery who sells this variety, but haven't had any luck.

So, if you happen to know of anyone in Western Washington who sells these trees I'd love to contact them. I'm excited about some day recreating that exact same applesauce with my own kids and grandkids. Thanks!

Best Wishes,


Ces said...

I'm going to try this recipe.
We just went out to the orchard and picked apples, so it's everything with apples these days. I'm an apple crisp lover.

Marcheta Gibson said...

Thanks for this recipe. I shared it today on my blog, Ohio Country Journal, and gave you the recipe credit as well as put a link to your blog.