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Fuck It, It’s Apple Crisp Season

20th August 1943: Three schoolboys carrying baskets of apples after picking fruit during a stay at the Bishop of Rochesters Harvesting Camp at Cranbrook in Kent. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images

It is now October, King Of All Months, and yet it doesn’t feel like October just yet. The leaves have not turned where I live. Temperatures here will cozy up to 80 all this week. Pumpkins out on doorsteps feel all wrong. This tepid October is almost certainly a harbinger of all future Octobers, and something that I’ll probably get used to sooner than I would prefer.

But for now, I choose to resist. My mind is screaming FALL, and my stomach is doing likewise. So, despite the lingering heat and humidity, I am willing fall into existence as best I can. That means roasting whole chickens, wearing vests even though it’s too hot wear them, and making apple crisp. I don’t give a fuck if coming autumns yield nothing but vicious lava-storms from coast to coast, I AM gonna be making some motherfucking apple crisp.

And guess what? You can too, you little fuckers. In fact, I’m gonna show you how. Right now. The fuck else are you gonna do with your day today? Watch the Bears? I don’t think so.

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law, except that I doubled all of the ingredients for the crumb topping because I gots to have my crumbs. Here’s what you’ll need:

8 medium to large Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and diced
Zest of 1 lemon, plus half its juice
2 cups oats, uncooked
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup flour
1 1/2 packed cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 sprinkles nutmeg
Vanilla ice cream (to serve)

Set the oven the 350. Grab a 9”x13” Pyrex baking dish. Toss the cut apples into the dish with the lemon zest and juice and spread all of it evenly along the bottom. This is the easy part of the recipe. The next part sucks but is eminently worth it. Throw all the other ingredients into a large mixing bowl and then, using your bare (washed) hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a coarse meal. If you see a nub of butter that managed to escape your thumb and forefinger, hunt it down and smush it good. This will take some time, and your hands will get all sore and pissy about it. Again, worth it.

Spread the crumb mix evenly on top of the apples. Add a few pats of butter to the finished ensemble if you’re feeling extra autumnal, and then stick the dish in the oven for 30–45 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Once it’s done, take it out and go to town. It is now October in your house, carbon emissions be damned.

Serves eight. In theory.

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