Foolproof Apple Crisp for the Love of Fall

imageThere are 14-layer cakes, lattice pies, meringues and souffles. Then, there’s Apple Crisp. Labor intensive, complicated desserts have their time and place, but a dessert that’s good enough for a weeknight is good enough for me. No other delicacy screams fall and comforts the home and heart like it. What’s more, the dish is easily adaptable for large or small crowds. Dinner for two? Serve it in ramekins. Family coming for Thanksgiving? It’s time to dust off that trusty ol’ casserole dish. With its warm nutmeg and cinnamon spices, served alongside a scoop or two of cold vanilla ice cream, it’s the fall season in a nutshell (or in this case, a bowl).

wpid-IMG_20131009_210507.jpgAfter a dinner of chili, Apple Crisp hit the spot. The crunch of the granola and earthiness of the pecans, with the tart and sweet combination of apples is foolproof flavor. My home smelled just like the mountains, and made me wish I was sipping coffee in a rocking chair somewhere up in Tennessee, admiring the changing leaves.

My recipe serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Filling:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Red Delicious apple, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Teaspoons each of cinnamon and nutmeg or more to taste
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup of granola
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice (This keeps the apples from turning brown).

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • A good handful of chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1/4 cup cold butter

Directions:

Peel and slice apples. Place in a medium bowl and add the remaining filling ingredients. Set aside. In another small bowl, stir together flour, sugar and chopped pecans. Cut in cold butter with a fork or you can blend the ingredients quickly with your hands. Pour filling into a 1 1/2 quart or 8 x 8 casserole dish and top off with the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle with granola. Bake in 375 degree oven for 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve with ice cream and coffee, preferably on the porch.

Don’t forget to eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day!

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That Chili Don’t Need Nothin’ But Eatin’

ChiliThere’s nothing quite like golden brown corn bread and chili on a cold night. I like to make mine Neely style, beginning with a little pig in the pan and sautéing some onion and bell pepper.  I let the vegetables get soft, then add my seasonings–chili powder, garlic powder, italian seasoning and of course, salt and pepper. Then comes the ground beef and after it’s brown, I add a can of italian diced tomatoes. Then I drain a can of light red kidney beans and a can of dark red kidney beans and throw them in. I follow that up with a little beer, whatever you have around the house…gives it great flava flav. And just like my daddy would say, “That chili don’t need nothing but eatin’!” Continue reading “That Chili Don’t Need Nothin’ But Eatin’”