This is one of those "duh" recipes. Why don't I just blog about toast, right? Nothing earth-shattering, except that it is. When was the last time you ate apple crisp? If it has been more than a few months, I have to say, What's wrong with you people? Warm, tangy-sweet apples and crisp/crunchy oat topping. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, you have achieved the near-perfect desert: sweet/tangy, crunchy/soft, cool/warm, creamy/crispy.
It's also triggers some powerful nostalgia. My mom would scoop hot apple crisp into mugs and pour in some cool milk. (Little did we know it was because we weren't extravagant enough to have cream. We just thought it was how it was done.) Everything in the mug moved from hot and cold to a comfortingly warm mixture of apples, milk and crumble topping. There was usually enough milk left to "drink" the last of the dessert.
So if you're wondering what to make for dessert that costs less than $3, make this. It will make you feel like freaking Julia Child, peeling those apples by hand. It will redeem you from all of that boxed garbage you've made in the past. Finally, your family will just maybe look back 30 years from now, remember it, and think of you.
Apple Oatmeal Crumble
2/3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. oats
1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
3/4 c. chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans)
2 lbs apples (about 7 or 8 apples; I like to use 1/2 granny smith, 1/2 golden delicious)
2-4 T. light brown or white sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 t. vanilla
freshly grated nutmeg (just a little)
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
For the crumble, whisk the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave, add to flour mixture, and toss together with a fork. Stir in nuts. Squeeze handfuls of the crumble together and drop them onto a cookie sheet to get a good proportion of large and small crumbs. Freeze for 10 minutes while preparing the fruit. (Or, be lazy like me and just chuck the mixing bowl into the freezer.)
Peel, core, and slice the apples. Toss in large bowl with the sugar, flour, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Transfer to an 8x8 or 9x9-inch pan. Dump crumble topping over the fruit.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Let set 5 to 10 minutes before serving.