Oatmeal Apple Crisp


apple crispAs a kid, I was not a huge fan of cooked fruit and I definitely did not like apple sauce. It may seem a bit strange that one of my favorite desserts as a kid was my dad’s apple pie. This was not a double crust pie, oh no, this was a crumb topped apple pie. What made it so, so good to me and most everyone else who had the pleasure of eating it, was the crumbs. 

I can remember sneaking pieces of the crumb top off the pie before it was served and my cousin and I always fighting over the piece with the biggest crumb on top. To me, the crumbs were simply perfection and made the apple pie what it was. When I met my husband in college – a true cooked apple in every way, loving guy – he thought I was ridiculous when I told him I would only eat my dad’s apple pie. He still thinks I’m a little crazy now about only eating my dad’s apple pie, but after eating his fair share over the years, I think even he’ll admit my dad’s is the best. 

Once I had a family of my own and started trading holidays and attended my first Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law’s, I knew I had to bring some of my own tradition to the table. Knowing I would miss out on my dad’s apple pie I really wanted to replicate that for myself and share it with my new extended family.

As a less experienced baker, the idea of making a pie crust was a little bit scary to me. I thought about buying a frozen crust, as so many people do, but I knew my dad would be disappointed. I mean he’s a straight up make it from scratch kind of guy and I grew up with that. Although I don’t disparage anyone who would rather buy than make it themselves, cooking and baking from scratch is just part of my bones. I knew I needed to figure out another way. 

Then I thought, why make a pie at all when I know everyone’s favorite part (and especially mine!) is the crumbs. And that is when I began making my own family tradition with apple crisp, and no one has complained since. 

apple crispI started with my dad’s recipe for apple pie and pretty much prepare the apples as he does. I get them sliced and tossed with a little lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon.  And even though his crumbs are perfect, I decided to change them up a bit and add my own spin by mixing in a little rolled oats. I love all things oats – along with the flour, sugars, cinnamon and butter. Although nothing beats my dad’s apple pie, I have to say my apple crisp is pretty good. And saving a few calories by skipping the crust, means no one needs to feel guilty about topping their warm apple crisp with a big scoop of ice cream.  

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