Introduction: Apple Crisp Done Dirt Cheap

About: Flemming changed the the world with a saucer and a bit of mold. Florence Nightingale changed the world with a tiny lamp, walking silent rounds among the wounded and dying. Einstein: chalk. Pasteur: chickens. A…

The apples looked so good in the store yesterday. And they passed the dent test and the price was good.

But these apples are terrible. Mealy, soft and thick-skinned and almost cooked-tasting. Blekh. Not that cooked apple taste is bad but it is all wrong when you take that first ambitious bite of a fresh, and ultimately deceptive, pomme. And like poor deceived Eve I am suddenly aware that I haven't put on pants yet today. We'd better make some apple crisp!

Step 1: Breakfast, Dessert. Lunch, Dessert. Dinner, Dessert.

You can serve apple crisp any time. And it really keeps well so it is best to make a lot, as long as you're bothering. The best part is that there are only 100 calories per serving! But we'll get to that later.

Ingredients that needn't be precise: Relax and this won't hurt.

Some apples (I used 8) -- $1
Sugar-- around 1 cup -- $0.50
Flour-- around 1.5 cups -- $0.30
Cinnamon-- quantity determined by you -- $0.05
Oats-- about  1.5 cups --$0.40
Drippy lemon juice -- $0.70
A palmful of grated Coconut or none if you'd prefer -- $0.25
Secret Molasses -- $0.10 (What does DDC mean by 'secret'?)
Butter-- 1 cup -- $1.25
Dash Vanilla -- $?

= $3.10. You could go as high as $4 if you splurged on apples.  But if I had splurged I would have just eaten them whole. Catch 22? Never read it.

Zone out while you peel and cut the apples. You might use wine to help lose track of time. I know a girl who swears by benzodiazepines. But me, I just ask one of the kids what they dreamed about last night. Instant cognitive flat-line, with just enough brain activity to keep me from accidentally peeling my hands!

Sprinkle a couple Tbsp or so of sugar over these. You should squeeze half a lemon over them to get the sugar started. Also, add some cinnamon, brush a pinch of salt over them, add some cinnamon and a half a stick of butter.

Stir the apples around and let the sugar do its thing- stripping the juice out of the apples- while you follow the next page. This keeps them from being mushy and is a critical step.

Step 2: The Crumble

Put the dry stuff in your bowl. You should already have your apple slices bleeding their sugary juice in whatever baking dish you're using so you can use the same bowl for the crumble and only dirty one. Blend together the flour, sugar and oats. Drippy drippy with the vanilla.  I added the coconut later for no reason all casual-like.

With a pastry blender, or with your fingers, break up the remaining 1.5 cups butter until it is crumbly. Don't let it get pasty- pasty isn't as nice as toasty brown and crumbly. Now you'll notice that there's a bit left over that is still too powdery. That's where the secretmolasses comes in.

Drizzle the molasses over the crumble a little bit at a time and fold it over. Beautifully, the molasses sticks the remaining dry ingredients together into little, loose, brown candy clumps. They are going to taste so good!

Step 3: Did You Sneak Any Syrupy Cinnamon Apples Between Steps? I Did.

Tumble the crumble out onto the apples.  Spread it around pretty-wise. Lastly, squeeze the other half lemon over the top or give it a light misting with water.  This will absorb any flour on the surface and turn it into crispiness. Maximum crispiness it the objective. Apple crrrisp.

Bake it at 350 until it is toasty. You'll know it's done when the smell draws your family into the kitchen asking, 'What is that wonderful thing you're baking?!' 

I got two kisses and four hugs out of it.

By the way, there are 100 calories per serving. As long as you measure each serving at only 100 calories. Those would be pretty small so plate about 5 of those and that should satisfy you.