Since moving from Florida to Pennsylvania, I’ve come to have a new admiration for the fall season. Our colors started turning slightly this past week, and the weather is nearly perfect.
We took a few days off and went to Keystone Lake where we rented a cabin on the shores of the lake. The colors on the trees are no where near peaking, but the hint of oranges, reds, and yellows gave me enough of a preview to be in the mood for campfires and s’mores.
When we came home, I was ready to start the fall season. We went to our local farm, Janoskis, for pumpkins, bales of straw, corn stalks, and apples. I bought their own homegrown Ida red apples and made apple crisp a la Patricia la Zicka. I wanted to make a dessert that wasn’t overly packed with processed white sugar so I read through all the recipes and made up my own. When I pulled it out of the oven, I could tell immediately the texture was perfect – a crispy crust with a gooey sauce enveloping the apples. On first bite, I thought the taste of the apples – tart and sweet – was perfect. I wondered why it didn’t taste exactly like the usual apple crisps and pies. Then I remembered what I’d forgotten to add to my memory recipe book. I was so determined to make a healthy dessert, I forgot to add the essence to all foods. I forgot the spices. The crisp is still good, but I’m guessing that’s because the apples I used are fresh and local. So here’s my recipe for a more healthy apple crisp, with the addition of a few spices.
Apple Crisp a la Patricia
6 cups of Ida red apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
Put sliced apples into a bowl and mix with spices. Mix together the liquids and pour over apples. Place apples in a greased 9×13 pan. Mix together the dried ingredients and spread on top of the apples. Put butter pieces all over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until the top is crispy and the apples are bubbling. Allow to rest for a few minutes before digging into a delicious treat.