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Apple Oatmeal Crisp

Posted in : Old New England Recipes on by : Michael Marsha Tags: , ,

Apple Oatmeal Crisp

Apple Oatmeal Crisp is a realatively modern dish. It doesn’t show up in printed form until 1924 in the Everybody’s Cook Book: A Comprehensive Manual of Home CookeryIsabel Ely Lord.

Despite being a relatively recent invention, it’s become a Fall staple in the United States and England when the apples are ripe and ready to be picked. It’s also very popular in Canada.

Legend has it that the original recipe may have come about back in the mid 1800’s.  You all remember John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed.  In 1801 he left Massachusetts and headed westward toward Pennsylvania. He was 23 years old and wanted to stake his claim on land by planting apple seeds.

He’s usually depicted as an eccentric man wearing threadbare clothes, barefooted and wearing a pot on his head. It’s said that he preferred sleeping out of doors and never had a house.  All along the way he would plant seeds. Years later, when the orchards were producing, he would return and sell them.

Johnny planted and sold apple seeds and started seedlings and nurseries Pennsylvannia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and West Virginia.  The exact year of his death is unknown, but believed to be around 1845.

Johnny’s trees were grown from seeds instead of being grafted. So, the fruit tends to be very tart. Most of these apples were used mainly for making hard cider and applejack. Thus, it’s believed that the Apple Oatmeal Crisp came about because of the amount of sugar used,  it sweetens the apples.

Apple Oatmeal Crisp

4 tart cooking apples, sliced

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a shallow baking dish.

Place apples in prepared baking dish.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon and mix well. Sprinkle mixture over the apples.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden and apples are soft.

Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


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