Thursday, October 03, 2013

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

Ahhh, more apples! I'm not sure what I love most about fall, the cooler weather, the return to school routines, or the fresh produce. Specifically the apples. Growing up, my family didn't really garden or put up a lot of food. Mom was (and is) an awesome cook, we just didn't cook ahead much. Except for applesauce. She and dad and I would peel and core them, and mom would cook them down. I still adore the smell of cooking apples. Takes me right back. 

Then I got married, and I have to tell you, my mother-in-law makes the best apple pie ever. She makes one for my birthday every year, and then for my mom's birthday, too. More happy memories. These days, I like making applesauce the easy way, with the Victorio strainer. Even though it speeds up the process, it's still a family event. Lots of fun. And always, that great smell of cooking apples.

Today's recipe is one that's easy to throw together quickly. I call it Crock Pot Apple Crisp, or Oatmeal for People Who Hate the Texture of Oatmeal. Some of us cannot stand that slimy texture of cooked oatmeal. (I would be the only one in my house who feels that way.)

This serves up nicely as a dessert or a breakfast. 

Leni's Notes:
~This one is all about personal tastes. Make it as sweet as you like. More fluid will give you a more traditional oatmeal texture, less will give you more of an apple crisp.I'm going to list it like I made it this time, but I play with the measurements each time I make it.
~This recipe will usually give us dessert for 4 (with a scoop of ice cream) and breakfast for 3 the next morning (with a little more fluid added, and rewarmed.)
~About the Oats. I hate it when I'm making a recipe and need one kind of oats, but only have the other. For this recipe, you can use either. If you use whole oats, give it the longer cooking time, and some extra fluid. If you use quick oats, it will cook faster and you can cut back on the fluid that's added at the very end.
~The amount of sugar you use will depend on how sweet you like your oatmeal and how sweet your apples are. Even if you always use the same type of apple, the sweetness changes with how ripe they are, so adjust accordingly.

4 Quart Crock Pot
3 large Cortland apples, peeled, cored and sliced thick
Approximately 2 Cups Whole or cut oats  
Approximately 1 C Raw Sugar
Approximately 1 tsp Cinnamon
1 stick of butter
Approximately 1 C water or apple cider

~Grease the inside of the crock.
~Place the slices from one apple into the bottom of the crock.
~Cover with about 1/2 C of oats. 
Seriously, I throw this in by the handful, so I don't measure. It should not completely bury the apples.
~Sprinkle on raw sugar, 1/4 C or less. 
This is where your personal taste really comes in. You can always add more at the end.
~Add a light dusting of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp, give or take.
~Slice 1/3 of a stick of butter into pats, and place on top of the layer.
~Repeat this process for two more layers.
~Add water or cider.
Again, this is to personal taste. For a drier product, add about 1/2 C. For a traditional oatmeal, add about 1 C. You can add more at the end if you like it soupier.
~Cover, cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-6.
~For Crisp: Do not stir. When done cooking, remove lid and let cool for 30 mintues before serving.
~For oatmeal, stir towards the end to break up the apples. Serve immediately.

Blessings from my apple-scented home to yours,

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