Saturday, October 11, 2008

favorite thing friday

** Edit: Please read the comments on this post because there is more discussion regarding the apple corer and recipe!! **

We drove up to our local mountains and went apple picking last weekend.

Because we have three children that were very interested in picking apples, and wanted nothing more than to hold their very own bag, we picked enough apples to last us for the next four months. Or, to make apple pies for 60 families.

During the drive home, I was telling the children all of the magnificent things that we would do with our three overflowing bags worth of apples. We would make pies! cobbler! sauce! juice!

Heck, we would just pick them up and eat them, like an apple!

We weren't in the door for five minutes and I had three little helpers that were PUMPED to help me cook apples. So I set to work making one of my all-time favorite recipes and ultimate comfort foods ... apple crisp. And to make apple crisp, I called upon one of my all-time favorite kitchen utensils and ultimate fruit preparation gadget .. my apple corer.

I feel an apple corer is one of those items that probably everyone has in their kitchen. But maybe (like me up until about five years ago), you have never heard of an apple corer. And when you learn how this tool can slice apples (and pears) cleanly in to perfectly spaced wedges - with no risk of cutting fingers - you will want one.

And even if you know all about the glory that is an apple corer, I'll be you don't know all about the glory that is my family's ancient apple crisp recipe.

To make this food that to me, is the true embodiment of the fall season and represents everything that is good in the world ... you will need apples. Approximately eight if they are moderate to large in size.

Or, approximately ten if they are the approximate size of a pool ball.

You will also need:
  • 2 sticks of softened (not melted!) butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cup of flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon
  • Oatmeal
  • Almonds (optional)

First, you will peel and core your apples.

If you want to do an OCD screening test, you could then line all of the cores up and see if it troubles anyone that some of the stems are facing a different way.

You will then place all of your nice and evenly sliced apples in to a 9 x 13 baking dish.

And squeeze the juice of a lemon over them.

Then, you will evenly sprinkle approximately one cup of oatmeal over the apple slices.

And then, you will evenly sprinkle cinnamon over the apple, lemon, oatmeal concoction. You'll want to exercise caution that your cinnamon container is set to "sprinkle" and not "pour".


If you have little helpers, this is a great time to call upon them because they will thoroughly enjoy dumping the various dry ingredients in to a big bowl.

In goes the sugar!

In goes the flour!

The brown sugar!

The softened butter!

This is the part your little helpers will especially enjoy, because once they have nice clean hands, they get to squish all of the ingredients together.

Sure, you could use a mixer if you have one - but I think that the consistency of the "crisp" is so much better if the ingredients are gently "merged" as opposed to "mixed."

You'll then evenly distribute the sugar, flour, brown sugar, softened butter concoction over the apple, cinnamon, oatmeal, lemon concoction. If you are feeling a little nutty, you can evenly sprinkle on top of that - some sliced almonds.

And another gentle sprinkling of cinnamon.

You will place the whole getup in to a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake uncovered for one hour, or until the apples are soft and the top is lightly brown.

While the crisp bakes - bathe your helpers who will most likely be coated from head-to-toe with flour, sugar and butter. And because the lovely aroma of apples and cinnamon will be wafting through your house, you should have no trouble convincing your helpers to get out of the tub and in to their PJ's, which on any other night, might take every last bit of energy that you possess.

Before less than a minute has lapsed once you remove it from the oven, you will carve out a piece, place it in a bowl, throw on a huge dollop of vanilla ice cream, light a candle, reflect on all that is good in the universe, and prepare to experience pure joy.

But first you must decide whether you will eat this masterpiece with a spoon or a fork...

Or, perhaps you will opt for both a spoon AND a fork if you happen to be three-years-old.


  1. Although I have known of the existence of the apple-corer, I have not yet owned one. But after reading this I'm asking myself WHY ON EARTH NOT??? I think I will be picking one up in the near future here. :)

  2. HELLO? YUM! Thanks for the recipe! We love apple picking. Mark and I picked apples when we were in Warwick, New York in 2000. The best apples you'll ever taste!

    BTW, Nicole from college stopped by last week for a visit... check out the blog!

  3. It looks like you forgot to tell us one step you took. Bathe the children while waiting for your apple crisp to cook! Looks yummy!

  4. This post brings back memories... way back when I was about 11 and my sister was 12 my parents would have a date night every Saturday. On Saturday nights in the fall my sister and I would prepare a big pan of apple crisp and spend the night eating it with vanilla ice cream while we watched Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Ah...those were the days!

  5. We love our apple corer too. The only fault with it is that it makes an even number of slices. That just doesn't work for those of us without a Henry.

  6. Thank you--I want to try this recipe for Monday. It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada!

    We picked apples and pumpkins today too--what a great age your kids are's so nice they enjoyed it so much.

  7. Lori, HA!! You are so right!! I did forget to add that step. The edit should read:

    "While the crisp bakes - bathe your helpers who will most likely be coated from head-to-toe with flour, sugar and butter. And because the lovely aroma of apples and cinnamon will be wafting through your house, you should have no trouble convincing your helpers to get out of the tub and in to their PJ's, which on any other night, might take every last bit of energy that you possess."

    Great catch. You are very observant!!

  8. My apple corer doesn't look anything like that fabulous one. I am green with envy, since I've got a counter full of apples right now. Where does one get such a fabulous apple corer? Did you get that at Williams Sonoma? I'm not allowed in there, damn you!

  9. Ummmm Jen, forget bringing us a meal, one of your apple crisps will do just fine. LOL I love all your pics & detailed descriptions. Again, I still find myself wondering when you have the time to snap all these pics w/ 4 little ones running around.

    Don't think we will make it for the trips B-day(Dr. says too many spores at the patch) Thank you so much for the invite. Next year for sure though-ok?


  10. Michele:

    Actually, I don’t think I bought it at Williams Sonoma. I can’t remember where I picked it up and I was going to make an edit to the blog tonight with details >> but I can’t find the brand or style I have anywhere.

    It is made by “Good Cook” and the one that I found on Google by "Good Cook" isn’t it at all. Ours is large enough to core and slice large apples, it is VERY durable (unlike the three different corers I've had that were made by OXO and ALL of them fell apart), it is comfortable to hold, the blades stay sharp and it is easy to clean.

    I wish I could remember exactly where I bought ours. Maybe once I take more of the Omega-3 it will come to me...

  11. Oh, the apple corer. I used that thing plenty when our kids were little. Now my daughter uses it daily with a jar or peanut butter at the ready.
    When I made pies a couple weeks ago, I used our Pampered Chef apple peeler-corer-slicer. Do you have one of those? Kids love the curly cues it makes out of the apples. Our apple-peeler-corer-slicer went to school several times during "Apple Week" when the kids were little.

    "Dear Mrs.W- Blake says you have this handy gadget..."

  12. Hello! I found you through my friend Lovelladro's site and I have to say that this might be your favorite thing friday-- but your recipe will be adopted in our house as Sunday Staple this fall! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Oats or oatmeal? If oatmeal, instant? What flavor? Quick oats or old-fashioned? Looks delish and we plan to make it today with friends. Thanks! Allison

  14. Pampered Chef(home parties) sells the apple corer slicers. I love mine & couldn't live w/o it.

  15. Maybe it was the lack of the apple corer/slicer? Or maybe it was left in the oven too long? Or maybe I mixed the topping too well instead of merging it? Or maybe it was the dollop of Milk? The apples tasted good but there wasn't much under the almost burnt crisp. Who knows. I do want to try it again though, but not until my fridge gets fixed. I loved the chicken pot pie so I was really hoping the apple crisp would be awesome, but Im sure this was all my fault lol

  16. I LOVE my apple corer/slicer also, but not nearly as much as I love the recipe!!! Thanks for sharing...can't wait to try it!

  17. Allison: Because we always have Old-Fashioned oats on hand for another of our favorite recipes (O'Henry bars), that's what we always use. I've never tried instant oats before - although they might work. If so, I wouldn't use any "flavor".

    In Due Time: I'm really bummed this didn't work out for you. Let's try to trouble shoot: One suggestion if the apples seem dry is to perhaps cover the crisp with foil for the first 30 minutes while it bakes (to retain moisture), and then bake uncovered for another 30 to get the top brown. Another option (that I've never tried out and it might make the apples too soggy?) would be to add 1/4-1/2 cup of water to the apples before you bake them. You CAN mix the dry ingredients together - I just happen to like it when the top is a little more crumbly via the "merging" process. If all else fails - add more butter!! :) You really want to watch the top so that it doesn't over cook because then the recipe is a bust.

    Has anyone else tried this and had success?? I hope so!! Mom said that she would post another recipe that she has, soon.

  18. I tried the recipe last night and it came out GREAT. We used a mix of Granny Smith and Macintosh. The apples were soft but not too soft and the topping was fantastic. We ate more than half the tray and there are only three of us!!!


  19. I have the corer/slicer from Pampered Chef and it's been great. Not too expensive either, but watch your fingers! DH just about lost one of his using it once ;o)

  20. We have the Pampered Chef corer too and I always seem to smoosh my fingers when using it.

    We made the recipe tonight and I substituted flax seed for the almonds. Still crunchy and sneaks in some more healthy stuff too. It turned out great. Delicious!

    (Oh, and I failed the OCD test)

  21. So adorable! I love apple picking and all u-pick farms for other items to pick. Thanks for sharing photos of my favorite season. I love seeing photos of your children helping in the kitchen too.

    I just had a Pampered Chef party on Friday and they sell the "The Corer" which just cores through cucumbers or apples and I already own that and use it often. But I think I need to buy myself this kitchen tool as well to make another step go faster. :)

  22. Check out this big mamma jamma apple slicer. Twelve slices!!

  23. We went to the orchard and got some fresh apples today so I had to make the apple crisp recipe! It turned out great! I didn't change a thing!

  24. I just had to comment again. We made the apple crisp tonight for friends and my boyfriend and I followed the recipe. IT WAS DELISH!!! We've put it in the fridge for a treat this week. Thanks again for the recipe. This is a sure sunday staple now. :- ) Especially with a cup of spiked cider!!

  25. made this tonight and it was excellent!!
    We too have the apple corer/slicer and use it all the time. Whoever invented that thing is a genius

  26. Glad your kids had fun apple picking. My guys are still talking about it! We are going to go again in a couple of weeks.

    I made the Apple Crisp tonight and it came out perfectly. YUM. YUM. YUM. Thanks for the recipe, and making it clear that I need to get an apple corer before our next trip to the orchard.

  27. This looks yummy! I think we may try this very soon. Thanks for sharing :)

    Oh - I love our apple corer too. I don't know what I did without it.

  28. it wasn't the apples that were "dry" I guess it was more like not enough apples at the bottom and a dry, um, burnt crisp lol Oh well, when we get the fridge back to working order I will try it again. I think I may have mixed the crisp too well instead of merging it then I think I burnt it a little too even though it was only in there for 45 mins.

  29. mamabunnytam@yahoo.com10/13/08, 11:21 AM

    Absolutely amazing!!!!!! I made it last night. My husband doesn't have a sweet tooth so usually he can take it or leave it in the dessert department. But this one got praise from him!!!! One of our favorite desserts now! YUMMY! This recipe will definitely be used around this house. Maybe too often:)It's better than my apple pie.

  30. Alright, I tried it again! Smaller pan, same amount of apples 2/3 the amount of "crisp" and it was so much better! I didn't burn it but I also didn't have any ice cream because fridge is still broke..But it was good!!! Thanks!

  31. I'm going to try making this this weekend with the Monkey Man. I already bought my apple corer, at Target, and LOVE it. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

  32. Long time lurker, but I just had to break my silence and say I loved the apple crisp recipe. Love, love, loved it. It was delicious, especially with a nice, big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The hubby and I polished off half of it tonight by ourselves, and had to fight the urge to eat more.

    Thanks for sharing! I've officially added it to my recipe book. And as my toddler son would say (and sign)... More! More! Please?

  33. I made your recipe for dessert tonight and it was AWESOME!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Jenny in Michigan

  34. Oh, I love apple crisp! I can't wait to try this recipe!

    When I was little, we had an apple corer. I had forgotten how great they were. I will have to get one now. I'll bet it'll make cutting apples for my apple pie easier too.