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Mixed Berry Apple Crisp

  Crisp.  Because it's a cloudy day, because there's three old Golden Delicious sitting in the fridge, because there's some berries verging on freezer burnt, because it's getting to that time of the week when we're down to basic pantry supplies and a scattering of condiments and half sticks of butter in the fridge.  And I needed something sweet, and I needed it pronto.

  So I peeled some apples, and I tossed them with some frozen berries in some sugar, flour, and spices.  I let myself daydream about autumn weather and sweaters and days gone by as I rubbed pieces of cold butter into brown sugar and oats.  I marveled at the intoxicating smell this created in the oven, I watched the berries take over and dye the apple slices purple.  A bubbling, warm, toasted mass of goodness emerged with the perfect ratio of filling-to-topping.  

  No, I didn't have any leftover berries or apples to photograph with this.  And no, we had no vanilla ice cream.  In fact, this was an on-a-whim post/photoshoot, because it was all I could do to snap a few pictures before eagerly shoveling spoonful after spoonful into my face.  I didn't make this with the intention of putting it on my blog, I just wanted crisp.  

  I made a summer crisp and I ate it warm from the oven in under an hour.  I made it because I was bored, because it was raining today, because we had aging fruit begging to be turned into softened jewels nestled beneath a golden topping, because I needed to remember that you can indeed make something from nothing.

  That's real.

(P.S. I highly recommend baking this along with Opus Orange's 2010 EP, it's all 2 minute ukelele songs with simple lyrics.  Nothing But Time is what I hear when I think about making this crisp.  K bye.)

Mixed Berry Apple Crisp
Yield: one 8x8 inch pan

Ingredients for the filling:
  • 3 large Golden Delicious, or other apples
  • 1 1/2-2 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • A pinch or two of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cold & cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease an 8x8 inch square pan.  Peel, core, and slice the apples into about 1/4-inch thickness.

In a large bowl, toss together the apple slices, berries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Transfer the apple mixture to the baking dish and spread in an even layer.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt.  Add the butter pieces and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle the butter mixture over the apples in the baking dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and golden and the inside warm and bubbly.  Slip a small sharp knife through to test that the apples are cooked through to your liking.  Let sit for about 30 minutes before serving (what a joke, I made it maybe 15 minutes, tops).

Sources: adapted from A Family Feast