I can't really imagine many smells better than the combined scent of apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It reminds me of home, and it is a scent that puts me in my happy place when I get stressed about packing, moving, and unpacking. I am already getting a little sentimental about our tiny, but happy, apartment, and am probably trying my hardest to fill it with as many happy memories before we move away. New England fall memories are among the best, so our apartment needs some fall baking this year.
I found this recipe on a lovely blog recently, Rachel's Nest, which prompted me to bake some delicious apple crisp tonight. As I'm typing, the air is filled with the lovely, spicy scent of baking apples and cinnamon. Aaah!
Fortunately, apple crisp is really easy, and fine for a Monday night.
I started by making brown sugar. For most people, making brown sugar isn't a necessity, but for those of us living away from readily accessible brown sugar, my baking always requires homemade brown sugar. Fortunately, homemade brown sugar just requires mixing 1-2 tbsp. of molasses (or Zuckerrübensirup) per 1 cup of sugar. Just mix the two together and smush all the molasses into the sugar with a fork.
And when its all worked in, you have fluffy, wonderful brown sugar:
Once the brown sugar was all set, I got to work peeling and slicing the apples. Once all the slices were in the baking dish, I mixed together sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little flour, and sprinkled it over the apples:
Once the apples were set, I got to work on the crisp topping. I mixed together melted butter, brown sugar, oats, and flour. I then decided to throw in a little extra cinnamon and a dash of vanilla for good measure. A little extra cinnamon and vanilla never hurt anything.
Once the topping mixture is good and crumbly, spoon it evenly over the sliced apples. Then, just pop the baking dish full of appley goodness in the oven, and bake at 350° (175°ish C) for about 40 minutes, make sure to enjoy the wonderful smell!
Here's the full recipe (adapted slightly from here)
5-7 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Oat topping mixture:
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (Kaiser Natron here in Germany)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
*I added a little vanilla extract and some cinnamon to this mixture too*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sliced apples in a lightly greased 9x13 inch dish. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, nutmeg and cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples.
Combine oats, 2 cups of flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter. Spoon over the sliced apples until evenly covered. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce.