Monday, September 7, 2009

Autumn's Apple and Raisin Crisp

I know that I will miss the warm summer days and the sweet fruits that were in such abundance over the course of the past few months, but autumn has begun here in the Pacific Northwest, and I could not be happier. This Labor Day weekend was chilly, blustery, overcast, and slightly damp, but I, along with many others I asked, could not be happier with the change of season. The days here have been more dramatic than anything I've seen, with shifts in the clouds and the wind and pockets of sunshine and blue sky. It's an astounding weather pattern to witness, and it makes me feel cozy and humbled. It also brings out my cravings for hot cinnamon cider, warm apple pie, and most basically, apples from the orchard.

It's been ages since I've been to an orchard for apple picking, but I've been delighted to find that I'm close to several apple trees where the apples are simply falling off the branches, and the owners have implored people to come take the fruit and enjoy their deliciousness. And that's precisely what I did. With the help of a fancy apple corer, I made a double batch of Apple and Raisin Crisp for a crowd. They were pleased with the crumbly and cinnamon-scented topping, I was pleased with the combination of raisins (both golden and brown) and apples (I used Granny Smith), and we were all overwhelmed by the homey taste of warm apple crisp on a cool September day.

Apple and Raisin Crisp
Adapted from

1 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup whole wheat flour flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 ½ cups golden or brown raisins
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 9 x 13 1/2-inch glass baking dish.
For Topping:Mix old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, all purpose flour, ground cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Add unsalted butter and blend mixture until coarse crumbs form.
For Filling:Combine sliced apples, raisins, sugar, fresh lemon juice, flour and ground cinnamon in large bowl. Mix well to blend. Transfer apple-raisin filling to prepared dish. Spread topping over. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 55 minutes.

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