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Doing more with: avoided apples

Ever have apples sitting around that nobody in your household wants to claim? Like, maybe the first one from the batch you brought home from the supermarket was kind of mealy, or maybe one of them took a tumble from the kitchen counter and acquired an unsightly bruise.

They just sort of sit there while the bananas and other fruits get claimed. And they sit.

Kind of sad.

Don’t let them get you down. Put them in this apple crisp, a recipe written especially for small households (like ours, in which only two of three people eat foods that aren’t pureed and strained).

It takes less than a half hour to put this together, and you only have to wash one mixing bowl. You probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now, and it’s a good vehicle for good vanilla ice cream.

Apple crisp for 2

fruit mixture:

2 medium apples

1 teaspoon corn starch

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

small pinch nutmeg

handful dried cranberries (optional)


1/3 cup whole-wheat flour

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

handful chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. (I used to make this in a really small Corningware container that looked much more appropriate for a two-person dessert, but it was really hard to cram all the apples in there, and I found that with more surface area, they cook more evenly and there’s more room for the all-important crisp topping.)

Peel and core the apples. (Come on, there are only two of them. It’s not like you’re making a whole pie.) Slice them about 1/4-inch thick.

Place the apples in a bowl with the corn starch, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg and the cranberries. Toss with a spoon to coat the apples in the dry ingredients and arrange the mixture in the loaf pan.

In that same bowl, place the flour, sugar, second portion of cinnamon, salt, oats and butter. Using the pads of your fingers, crumble this all together until the butter warms up a bit and coats the dry ingredients. I used to do this in a food processor, but I like to keep the oats whole, and you do NOT want to go to the trouble of washing the food processor for this. Once the butter is incorporated and the mixture is like slightly damp sand, lightly mix in the walnuts.

Arrange the butter mixture atop the apples, making sure you don’t have any large chunks of apple too exposed (They tend to look really dried out if not covered in buttery-sugary goodness.).

Bake for 50 minutes, cool 5 to 10 minutes and serve with good vanilla ice cream.