—This post is part of my Canadian Thanksgiving series—
Well friends, we have finally made it to dessert in my Canadian Thanksgiving feast! Sorry for cutting this so close to our American Thanksgiving; it’s become harder and harder to carve out time to get through my blog backlog. But even if this doesn’t make it into your holiday menu, it is a great, all purpose recipe to file away. Back when I was in college, one of my roommates made a delicious apple crisp. I can’t remember anymore whether my mom actually tasted it or I just told her about it, but somewhere along the line the recipe was passed on. My mom has since made this tons of times and when I asked my friend about it recently, she could barely remember making it! So I think it’s safe to say my mom now gets the credit for the current version, as who knows how many changes have been made in the last decade.
I love apple crisp as a dessert option, especially when trying to come up with a non-chocolate addition to the table. In my opinion, pie crust is a bit of a waste of calories – I certainly don’t mind it, but I don’t love it either. If it were healthy that would be great, but generally it’s not worth eating something so unhealthy if I’m not getting a lot of enjoyment out of it. Crumb topping, on the other hand, gives me LOTS of enjoyment! And it even has some redeeming qualities with the oats :). I’m not trying to say this is healthfood, but all things considered, fruit is good for you, oats are good for you, and there is not a crazy amount of sugar or butter in this recipe, making it quite a wholesome choice as far as desserts go.
It is also fairly simple to make, although I will warn that peeling and chopping apples always takes longer than I think it should, which is why I wanted to make this dessert ahead. I knew I had bought a frozen apple crumb pie once that came with directions on how to bake in the oven at home, but when asking around and searching the internet, everyone seemed to have a different opinion on the best way, if at all, to make a crisp ahead of time. Should I refrigerate or freeze? Cook it completely or freeze the apples raw and then cook that day? Thaw before heating up or put in the oven frozen? In the end, I decided to go against much of the advice and just cook it through, freeze, and reheat in the oven after letting it thaw a bit (mainly because I was scared my baking dish would crack if I put it right from the freezer into a hot oven). And guess what – it worked perfectly! So in case you were wondering, YES, you can make apple crisp ahead and freeze it! I include some more detail below on how to do this.
One caveat before I go on – some of my measurements are estimates or missing. Please bear with me and rest assured that there is a LOT of leeway in this recipe and I think your judgment will be just fine 🙂
from my mom!
8-10 medium granny smith apples (or your favorite baking apple)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9×13 (or equivalent) baking pan.
Peel, core, and slice apples into 8 wedges each. Mound in baking pan and toss with cinnamon – they should be piled pretty high as they will cook down a lot.
Mix all topping ingredients together. There should be enough butter so that mixture is all “wet”. Sprinkle over apples and shove into crevices between apples as well.
Bake for about 50 minutes or until apples are soft to your liking (I like my crisp to resemble applesauce with crumb topping, so check sooner if you prefer crunchier apples). Don’t worry if the crisp is still piled up high when you take it out; it will “deflate” as it cools.
Serve warm, either right after baking, by refrigerating for 1-2 days and reheating in oven, or freezing and reheating in oven after letting it thaw for a couple of hours.