Today we received the last of our regular season CSA boxes from Flying Cloud Farm. We've joined for the extended season - which runs up to Thanksgiving - but its a sure sign of fall when the "official" CSA boxes run out. At the farmer's market this morning I bought what could be the last of the cherry tomatoes - so sweet and delicious, and a favorite snack of Dora's. Our CSA box included some beautiful apples, another sure sign of fall. This morning's cool fog, the maples burning orange along our street, and the crisp blue sky all put me in the mood for a delicious apple crisp. Here's the recipe for one I threw together today for dinner at my friend Mandy's house this evening - it tasted absolutely heavenly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's enough to make me feel a little better about relinquishing summer.
Apple Almond Crisp
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/8 tsp salt
6 crisp apples (not overly ripe and not too sweet)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs granulated sugar (or more if your apples are really tart, or less if they are really sweet)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, flour, brown sugar, and salt until well blended. Cut the butter into the oat mixture until large crumbs form. Put the bowl in the refrigerator while you prepare the apples. Lightly butter a 8 x 8 inch square baking pan (the wrapper from the stick of butter you just used works great). Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples and toss them into the prepared pan. Add the lemon zest and juice, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon and mix gently. Taste an apple slice to see if the mixture is sweet enough for you, and add more sugar if needed. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbling.
This recipe can easily be made vegan by substituting vegetable oil for the butter. It can be made gluten and wheat free by substituting 1/2 cup of finely ground oats for the flour. You can easily grind whole rolled oats yourself in a spice mill, food processor, or even using an immersion blender (that's how I do it).