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Recipe of the Month: Apple Crisp

October 7, 2011

At the Catherine Ward House, we make every effort to switch between sweet and savory breakfast dishes every morning. Our blog follows suit as we share recipes that we have tested in our kitchen over the past seven years. So far, we have shared recipes including: Individual Ricotta FrittatasOrange Praline French ToastBaked Rolled Omelets, Cherry Coconut Scones, and an Artichoke and Pimento Strata.

In honor of autumn and the cooling of the days, we’d like to share with you one of our General Manager’s family favorite comfort foods – Apple Crisp. As this recipe has been perfected over the years with countless batches whipped up in fall and winter evenings by her dad, Mike Preble, we thought it was only fitting that he serve as a guest blogger to share this family specialty. In between batches of apple crisp, Mike has found time to be an elementary school teacher, earn a masters degree in creative writing, produce a jazz CD, and author a fantastic children’s book – Why The Owl Has Big Ears*.

Follow the jump for the recipe

Apple Crisp

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Bake Time: 45-55 Minutes

Makes 1 9×13 pan (or so)


For Apple Crisp –

  • 8-12 Tart, Baking Apples (Granny Smith, Harlson) peeled, cored, sliced
  • 1-2 Cups sugar (to taste.  Less is better.)
  • 1/4 Cup flour

For Topping –

  • 3 Cups oatmeal
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar (and don’t play the Rolling Stones riff on the air guitar.)
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 2 Sticks butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees (this is not an exact science; some pans bake better at one temp than another. higher temp will need less baking time).
  2. For topping: Mix oatmeal, brown sugar and flour.  Melt butter.  Pour over oatmeal mixture.  Blend with wooden spoon until combined.  Set aside. Keep wooden spoon handy to defend topping from would be thieves (or crafty children).
  3. For apple crisp: Peel, Core and Slice apples.  Add sugar (as little as necessary.  There’s plenty of sugar in the topping.)  Stir to coat.  Add flour.  Stir, again. ***The peel, core, and slice process is made infinitely easier with one of these. Be sure to get one that clamps onto the counter, not a suction cup one – they slip too much.
  4. Pour apples into baking pan.  Spread evenly.
  5. Crumble Topping mixture on top of apples.
  6. Bake in oven, center rack, 350-375 for about 45-55 minutes.  Test apples for being done to desired texture (firm to almost sauce)  Topping should be a rich golden brown, almost crunchy.  Remove from oven.
  7. Cool (long enough to keep from burning your tongue, about 5 seconds in my home.)  Take a slice (when nobody is looking.)  It will be runny when warm, so set pan at an angle to let juices fill the suspiciously empty hole.
  8. Allow pan to cool a bit more.  Try another slice (that won’t burn your mouth.)  Save remaining until dinner.
  9. Take a third slice for dessert.  (Take a fourth, smaller slice for second desert.)
  10. Later on in the evening while watching a movie, walk out into the kitchen a couple of times and try a rather large taste, or two.
  11. Say “Good Night” and go to bed (brush your teeth.)
  12. The next morning, get up early and enjoy a fresh slice of apple crisp while you make breakfast, with a second, smaller slice for dessert.
  13. Save some for lunch, an afternoon tea and one more to eat while making dinner.
  14. The last little bit remaining will make a delicious, tiny, final dessert.
  15. Go on a strenuous diet for 4 weeks and repeat.
Note:  If there are more people in the house than you, make two batches.
2nd Note:  The proper question to ask guests when serving this dessert is:  “Is this too much, or shall I put a bit more on?”

* Copies of Mike’s book can be purchased directly from the author by contacting him at:


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