I had the perfect outfit planned: Skinny jeans, brown riding boots, and a pinkish-purple flannel shirt. I may have even worn a scarf just to complete the look. We were going apple picking after all.
As a Big Apple native, apple picking is practically in my blood (New York is the second biggest apple producing state.) Nearly every single year of my childhood, my family would go apple picking upstate. Of course, we’d down warm apple cider donuts, feed a goat, and schlep a few pumpkins home, too. So it’s only natural I had the perfect apple-picking attire hanging in my closet.
Except Mother Nature had other plans: August weather in the middle of October. We’re talking 81 degrees and hot. I have to admit I was a little off as the tractor pulled our hay-filled wagon deep into the orchard. Instead of my pinkish-purple flannel, I was wearing a pink tank top. And sweating. Despite the warm sun and the wonderful company, it felt just a little…wrong. Like we accidentally went apple picking a few months too early.
But then something happened. As I climbed off the wagon and fixed my eyes on row after perfect row of apple trees—many still heavy with fruit just waiting to fall into our palms—I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the delicious things these apples would one day be. Homemade apple sauce…apple pie….apple-raisin cookies…apple-braised pork chops (y’know, now that I braise.) And just like that, I dove into the orchard and started filling my bags—two bushels full—with whatever variety I could lay my hands on. Golden delicious…red delicious…gala…
During the hour-long drive back to Chicago, Robert asked if I would make apple crisp that night. Did he really want to eat more apples after scarfing what I estimate is about half a dozen during our apple picking adventure? He gave me a look like I was out of my mind for asking such a ridiculous question. Apple crisp it was. With vanilla ice cream, of course.
Now, in addition to the dozens of apples sitting on my kitchen table I have two more signs that prove I spent my Sunday apple picking: What’s left of the homemade apple crisp and, sigh, a sunburn (sorry mom).
10 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 9 small to medium-sized apples or 6 large apples)
¾ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Sprinkle ground cloves
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, nutmeg, and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples.
For the topping, combine the oats, 2 cups flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together in a bowl. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything