Recipe for good 'ole apple crisp.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (180°C)
  2. Heave apple pie filling into an ungreased casserole dish. Throw the water, lemon juice and cinnamon over the apples.
  3. Mix brown sugar, flour and butter until crumbly and then dump this sweet treat on top of the apples.
  4. Bake, uncovered, until apples are tender and topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Top with ice cream and serve.

Estimated time of arrival: 40 minutes.

This evening, as part of what has turned into a daily routine of cooking vegan dinners with the roomates, I worked out the last kinks in the apple crisp recipe. Roughly derived from watching my friend Bodhi make it, who refused to name exact portions. It took some experimenting to arrive at these, modify them to suit your fancy.

topping
3 cups oats
1 cup flour
1 cup fine ground turbinado sugar
1 1/2 cup margarine (Nucoa works well)
1/8 cup water

filling
6 medium sized apples
1 cup fine ground turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 cup water

a pan roughly 6 x 6 inches wide and 4 inches deep
two large mixing bowls


First we will prepare the apples, this will give them some time to soak while the topping is being prepared. Peel the apples and cut them into slices about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick, put them all into a large mixing bowl. Pour the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and water into the bowl with the apples and mix until evenly coated.

In another large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour and sugar. Mix well. Now warm the margarine until it is soft, spread some on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking, add the rest into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Use your hands to break the margarine down until it is thoroughly mixed in, there should be no globs of margarine in there, I am watching you very carefully by the way. Add the water in, this is just to keep it a little moist while it cooks. Mix well again.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

Place the apples over the bottom of the pan and spread the topping over them. Pat it down some, but do not compress it too much. Bake for around 30 - 45 minutes (this will vary because my oven doesn't work that well. Anthony sat on the door when it was open once and it does not shut all the way). It is time to pull it out when the top is slightly browned.


One man's death
is another's release
one man's silence
another's peace.


The vodka diet’s working out well, so that’s nice. Living in America we have a lot of fruit of course, or at least a lot of fruit that’s always being left over in the fruit bowl. It starts out looking taut and green (or red or yellow), but then the time goes by and the fruit’s all ignored mostly and then the decay gets going, unnoticed at first, being how as decay’s quiet in its work. Then you get rot and brown pieces of skin going soft. Then, like with old people, it’s mostly common to sweep the fruit under the carpet into the garbage and often at night. Just make a fresh start and a mental note to self to get more newer fruit.

Instead of that I got up unshaven and with my hair all awry seeing as it's Saturday and took a rubber-handled peeler to the little red apples that I’d noticed (just last night on my way past the kitchen counter where the fruit bowl is because that’s on your way to the drinks cupboard if your coming in from the living room all thirsty) were less firm than you’d like. I cut them and cored them, chopped them into bite-sized pieces for a small mouth, put them in a glass baking dish you can see right through. Then, before anything else, I knew I had to get my thinking straight about spoons.

Growing up we were poor but had more spoons than folks allot themselves these days. Amongst them were dessert spoons and tablespoons. Dessert spoons were maybe two or three times the size of a teaspoon but still delicate affairs compared to the tablespoon. I think of the teaspoon as a pony, the dessert spoon as a thoroughbred, whereas the tablespoon is a dray horse, ready to pull a cart loaded with beer barrels or sacks of coal. When making crumbles or crisps you need to measure out an equal amount of flour and sugar to mix. The recipe in my mind calls for three tablespoons each, but there are no tablespoons in the kitchen drawers of New Jersey, not really. Not so as my dead grandmother would notice. So you have to guess a bit is what I’m saying. Three spoons each and then some more. Add a whole stick of softened butter (4 ounces), which is more than is called for, but then that’s my rule of thumb with butter.

45 minutes in an oven preheated to 375. Set aside (a culinary phrase that always reminds me of being abandoned at a boarding school in mid-winter and so far –of course- from home). Yes, golden brown, mother. Texture like sun. And then there’s the matter of the cultural differences concerning the custard I would drench said apple pudding with if I were back home, but here pudding is only a type of custard and dessert is what you have after dinner, rather than afters which is what pudding was in my father’s house which has long been sold to pay away the debts and at the end of it there was no more than a few hundred pounds and that was all spent on the drink before the memory of him was barely cold.

We had a cooking apple tree in that garden and he would take the windfalls, big like his closed fist, core them and fill the hole with raisins and brown sugar, put them in the oven to bake. Hardly Proust’s madeleine, but this morning stood over the sink, the last of the snow melting through the kitchen window, a kid bleating in the background for his breakfast, I burnt my tongue on apple crisp, watching the lonely left-alone bananas browning before me, and I missed my mother something fierce for when there’s no-one left to take care of you in the world, all you’ll have for comfort are your recipes. It won’t seem near like enough.


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