Slagle Bagle: Sweet sugary goodness of old-style crisps

The bummer about winter is that most fruits are not in season – except, that is, for apples. Crisps can be made with most stone fruits, but the smell that permeates through the house when baking an apple crisp is unlike anything you’ve ever smelled before.

A crisp is different from a cobbler in that cobblers have plopped biscuits as opposed to crisps’ streusel or crumb topping. Regardless of the kind of topping, though, the combination of sugary streusel and apples have that unrelenting feeling of “homeyness.”

Old-fashioned apple crisps

Ingredients:

5 pounds McIntosh or Macoun apples

Grated zest of 1 orange

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.

Serves: 10 people