Delicious Juicy Apples!

Apple of my Eye

I want to shout out with excitement that I love this time of year. It truly is exciting for me in my kitchen, when I get to see the seasons change and think about what I want to make with delicious seasonal and local produce. I think that this happens to many people and I know chefs’ creative juices start to flow when they think about how they are going to incorporate ingredients into some new and interesting way to put on their menu that will showcase their unique cooking abilities. I like to play around too and try new things but sometimes I like to stick to simplicity and flavours I enjoy and know.

Last weekend I went for a drive with my family, not far just around and I made sure to point out the different farms we were passing and what was on them. The tall cornstalks starting to turn golden, the soy bean plants looking wilted, tall trees that were loosing leaves slowly and changing colours. But the trees I didn’t have to point out because they were spotted by the kids first were the apple trees. You could spot large juicy red and green apples from a distance. For the next few weeks you can easily locate fresh Ontario apples in markets, grocery stores and farms. A perfect way to bring in fall and for me a true family experience and tradition to go apple picking and smell the fresh apples in the trees and take a bite out of a crisp firm apple. Then to have juices burst out on my face with the first crack of the skin and flesh of the apple. Wow, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it again. The apple truly is an amazing fruit! I have one apple tree, a Jersey Mac in my backyard and unfortunately this year I had no crop. The darling wasps and bees decided to favour the pear tree this year. So I was disappointed I couldn’t harvest my own apples, but I wasn’t worried as the local apple farmers have delicious varieties and lots to share with us this time of year.

I remember as a kid that my mom and dad would buy bushels of apples and then we would store them in our cold cellar to last for the winter months. Not many houses these days, new ones that is, have large cold cellars. This one was huge! Well I was small then so it could have been average sized but I did love playing in it, because I could snack on apples and pears and sometimes bring up canned peaches or tomatoes to help out my mom and grandmother. My cold cellar is not nearly that large and I don’t buy bushels of apples but I do buy lots over the course of the fall. My kids love apples as do I, but the great thing is that they enjoy recipes with apples in them too.

My husband’s aunt comes over to help us make apple pie. We decide to make over a dozen pies at a time for the freezer so that my kids can eat almost a pie a week for the course of the fall. I know it’s a bit much but it’s all apples with the exception of some thin pie pastry and they love it! It’s a great family get together where we work together as a team to produce our own baked pies.
So a few trips to the market and farms are needed to fill the apple needs in our house. I love that it is barely mid September and I’ve already enjoyed Paula Reds, McIntosh, Jersey Macs, Spartans, Cortlands and Crispin apples. I think this week I might go on the prowl for Honey Crisps too. Such a huge variety of apples and they are great to eat on their own and also to cook and bake with.

This past week I have been making an apple crisp for my family almost every other night. Just a small pan so that I can have that baked apple aroma in the house often. In these cooler evenings with a cup of tea or coffee it certainly hits the spot. So I kept it simple because I wanted to taste apple but lots of topping to add a crunch of sweetness to it. I’ve used all the apples I mentioned in the apple crisp and the texture simply changes from very soft almost mushy to soft apple slices melting in my mouth. Any way you serve it up, it tastes great. Serving it warm is my preference and for some a scoop of ice cream makes it even better. In the end it’s about simplicity of an apple and enjoying this fruit anyway you can get it and hopefully you will get it often.

Simple Apple Crisp
You can use a variety of apples or all the same variety with this crunchy topped crisp. Using 6 large apples will give you about 2 ½ lbs (1.25 kg). I peel my apples by hand and slice them with a paring knife but there are fun gadgets and useful tools that will help you peel, slice and dice for the season.

2 ½ lbs (1.25 kg) fresh Ontario apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
¼ cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) all purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon

Crisp Topping:
1 cup (250 mL) all purpose flour
¾ cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, melted

In large bowl, toss apples, sugar, flour and cinnamon together until coated and place in greased 8 inch (2 L) glass baking dish; set aside.

Crisp Topping: In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle butter over top and using hands mix together until mixture feels sandy and slightly clumps together. Place handfuls of mixture over top of apples and place in centre of 350 F (180 C) oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until sides are bubbly and top is golden and topping is golden and apples are very tender.

Makes 6 to 8 servings. (Or 2 to 3 in my house)

For larger morsels of crisp topping, increase the butter to ½ cup (125 mL) and the mixture will form larger clumps to put on top of the apples.


  1. Hey Emily! I really enjoyed your Smart Fiesta demonstrations as well as the entries in your blog that I hadn't read yet. Yummmm....


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