The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree
There is an inexhaustible list of reasons why autumn in Nova Scotia kicks ass, but one of the tastiest is also one nearest to the top: It’s apple pickin’ time! Our big apple growing region is the Annapolis Valley (or just “the Valley”, if you’re from ’round these parts), and we enjoy the fruits of the Valley’s farmers’ labours each and every fall with great vigour. And one of our favourite ways to do so? Apple crisp, bitches.
Apple crisp is super easy and pretty near vegan to begin with. This is a recipe everyone and their great-grandmother loves. Individual family recipes may vary, but they are all delicious and taste like home. Here is mine.
- 4-5 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored & cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 to ½ cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup quick oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup softened vegan margarine
Please note, N.B., Very Important Information et al. and so on and such forth: When my friend and I made & photographed this, we doubled the recipe. The general rule about apple crisp is that there’s never, ever enough, so we find it’s usually best to double or triple the batch.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ square baking dish and set aside.
Core, peel, and cut up your apples and put them in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Bowl One, if you will. Sprinkle dat lemon juice all up on doz naked apples to keep them from going a deathly shade of brown.
Add the first listed amount of brown sugar to your prepared apples in Bowl One. The tarter your apples, the more you will need.
In your second bowl mix all other ingredients together (except for the margarine). Please take time to build sand castles out of your packed brown sugar–I won’t judge you. Actually, I’ll probably judge you if you don’t.
Mix mix mix mix all dry ingredients together, then cut in your softened vegan margarine. A pastry cutter does the trick, but if you don’t have one of those on hand just use two butter knives to cut it in. That’s my great-grandmother’s trick and I’m sticking to it.
Spread the apple mixture evenly into your greased pan. Remember how I said I doubled this recipe? I also used a 9″ x 13″ pan. It’s all the same, just bigger.
Spread the delicious mushy oat contents of Bowl Two evenly on top of the apples. Make it even and make it count.
Slam that bad boy into your preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until browned and crisped. Don’t forget to set a timer! Do you need some baking music to help pass the time? This song is by an old Canadian country singer and it’s about apple blossom time in the Valley. (Far from harvest time but there’s yodelling in it, so who are we to say it’s wrong for this post?)
Keep an eye on your crisp near the end of the half hour to bring it to just the colour and crispness that you desire (the same goes for your tan in the summer–use sunscreen). Watch it and don’t let it burn, OOOOR you could throw the broiler on and walk away like I did. Idiot. I just wanted it crispier, aight? Instead I got lovely caramelised brown sugar all up in this piece. It only made it taste even more divine.
Ladle a hearty scoop of the hot stuff into a bowl and serve it up the favourite way of all Cape Breton children, ever: with vanilla ice cream! Vegan, of course.
Hot and cold, spicy and sweet. PERFECTION!
Nothing brings me back to crisp autumn days in my Cape Breton country home quite like apple crisp. I hope it brings you as much warmth as it has always brought me.