This past weekend was some pretty glorious Fall weather! Unfortunately, I spent most of the weekend locked away, working on a huge paper for one of my classes (almost finished), but it was just too nice outside to not sneak out and do something fun. I ended up going apple picking with some friends at Russell Farms in Ipswich, quite possibly one of the cutest places ever. I ate the best cider donuts and hot apple cider I’ve ever had, took a hay ride out to the orchards, and brought home a ten pound “peck” of Cortland, Macoun, Macintosh, and Gala apples.

One of the great things about season fruit picking, is finding ways to eat your new bounty. Some of those apples have been getting cut up and cooked with oatmeal in the morning. Some of them might end up going into that apple chicken recipe that I wrote about a few weeks ago. And yesterday, I decided to procrastinate with that paper just a little bit more, by baking an awesome apple crisp. I love apple crisp because it’s so delicious and easy and can be prepared without a lot of extra fat or sugar. I actually really don’t like most store-bought crisps or packaged mixes – I find them to be way too sweet and gooey. Apples baked with some cinnamon and raisins have so much natural sweetness and flavor on their own, why would you want to cover that up? I prefer to keep mine simple, with just a little bit of crumb topping. Below is the recipe I came up with yesterday.

Slightly Sweet Apple Crisp

5-7 apples (I used 5 because mine were huge) peeled, cored and sliced thin. I used the aforementioned apple varieties which are all semi-sweet and tart, good for baking

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup raisins

3 tbsp tapioca pearls – this is optional, I like to add them because they add some fun texture

1 cups water

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

2 tbsp butter

Preheat the over to 375 degrees, and coat a 9 x 11 glass baking pan with non-stick spray. Arrange apple slices to an even layer on the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon, lemon juice, raisins, tapioca, and stir until evenly coated. Add water to the apples. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, sugar, and flour and mix well. (I also added an extra sprinkle of cinnamon to this mixture). Cut the butter into the mix using a pastry knife or two butter knives (if you don’t know what this means, here’s a link to a video that explains). Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly over apples. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until apples are soft.