The Crisp really speaks to me. Want to know why?
1. It's so damn easy to make. No patchke rolling pin, and no delicate doughs. Anyone can pull this off.
2. No margarine or shortening. I love pie too, but at this point in my life I do not use those ingredients and personally I'm not using an ingredient that doesn't come off my hand even when you wash with soap and water. (i.e. Crisco) I am not against butter for those who eat it, but I personally do not eat dairy.
3. Yummy! - A crisp is delicious. I have personally finished one of these dishes all by myself. No shame here. A scoop of ice cream and some toasted walnuts on top and you have yourself a full blown masterpiece!
So let's talk filling. I actually like my filling with a pear or two thrown in there if you have. I think it balances out the flavor. I also don't like just one type of apple, I like to mix green and reds, soft and firm. This really gives flavor depth and texture to your filling. See what you have in your fruit drawer and mix it up. Take a little bit of everything. But overall you want the quantity to be about 8-9 medium apples.
The spices I used here are pretty basic but well balanced. I personally don't like deviating. I like the classic cinnamon and vanilla. However, there are many people who like doing things a little different. Things to try: cardamom, ground ginger, nutmeg, almond extract, vanilla bean, amaretto, etc. Anything nutty or warm will work here. Give it a try...
Now this recipe yields two pie dishes (9.5 inch). Why do I do that you ask? Because if I'm going to bother doing this dish then I make two smaller ones instead of a huge baked dish. It looks fresher for company if you pull out a brand new one, rather than a half eaten larger one! Smart, no? I use a simple and inexpensive pie dish like this although you can use a nicer one like this if you choose.
This dish lasts 1 week in the refrigerator.
Yield: 2 (9.5 inch) Crips
Ingredients for Filling:
8-9 Apples (Can be a mix of pears and apples. When choosing apples use different colors and types)
1/4 cup cane or brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ingredients for Topping:
2 cups oats (not quick cooking)
2 cups flour (use Gluten Free if you prefer)
1/4 cane or brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
To make your filling, peel and slice your apples. Make sure get rid of all the seeds and hard parts of the apple. Also I prefer my slices on the thinner side. Take your apple slices and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add your sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, water, cornstarch and vanilla extract. Using a gloved hand (or spoon) mix well making sure all your ingredients are well combined. Allow your mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to really develop. If you want this can be done the day before you want to bake. Just cover and place in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (325 degrees convection)
In a separate mixing bowl combine your oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Then add your oil and mix until the oil is throughly combined into the oat mixture.
Take your apples and divide them between the two pie dishes. Then take your crumb mixture and sprinkle over the apples, dividing evenly between the two pies. The crumbs do not have to cover the the apples completely. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. I like to put a sheet of aluminum foil or a baking tray under the pie dishes because sometimes the apple goodness bubbles over onto the floor of your oven.
This dessert is easy to make because the filling you can prep a day ahead and then do the topping the following day. Also this entire baked crisp will last in the fridge for a full week. So feel free to bake it and then just warm it up in your oven (250 degrees 30 minutes) and serve with vanilla ice cream and toasted walnuts to your guests (or yourself!).