If fall had a mascot, it would be the apple. A big, fat apple. There’s no doubt that when the weather gets crisp and the layers pile on, the first fruit we think to pick, bake, or turn into cider is the glorious apple. Healthy too.
Ruth Reichl, former restaurant critic for the New York Times and editor of Gourmet Magazine, and author of a handful of cookbooks including Comfort Me with Apples, is one of my favorite food writers. Her recipes are delicious, straightforward and, I kid you not, poetic. Ruth’s latest release, My Kitchen Year, was recently featured on Yahoo Food and includes this recipe for an apple crisp. So I spent yesterday afternoon peeling heirloom apples while watching the Jets beat the Dolphins. And I used a variety of heirloom apples, because as Ruth says,
If you use apples of different textures and flavors, some crisp, some that sort of slump into sauce, some tart, some sweet, you get something that has real character.
With just seven ingredients, it’s the perfect, lazy Sunday dessert.
I’m going to include Ruth’s recipe, word for word, because then you get a sense of her style. Share your autumnal cooking projects in the comments!
5 heirloom apples
¾ stick butter
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
Peel a few different kinds of apples, enjoying the way they shrug reluctantly out of their skins. Core, slice and layer the apples into a buttered pie plate or baking dish and toss them with the juice of one lemon.
Mix 2/3 cups of flour with 2/3 cups of brown sugar, and add a dash of salt and a grating of fresh cinnamon. Using two knives – or just your fingers, cut in most of a stick of sweet butter and pat it over the top. The cooking time is forgiving; you can put your crisp into a 375ºF oven and pretty much forget it for 45 minutes to an hour. The juices should be bubbling a bit at the edges, the top should be crisp, golden and fragrant. Served warm, with a pitcher of cream, it makes you grateful for fall.