Remember when I told you that when I get homesick I make (and eat) American food? Today was New England apple crisp.
I saw a photo on Facebook yesterday of my son, my one and only darling son who is older than most of you. He was wearing a squid hat on his head. Yes, I know, I’m luckier than most. Not everyone gets a surprise like this on Facebook.
It made me homesick for his sense of humor and his pure love of everyone around him. He has three children. His eldest is a sharp cookie who left high school at 16 to go to college. Three weeks later, happily into empty nesting, Al called to tell me that they were pregnant. So I have a grown grandson and two littlies 6 and 8. Al is a hands-on dad who had the brilliant sense to marry a terrific woman. Al wrote a post for me a while back about how to do Southern BBQ, Georgia style. If you read that, then I don’t need to tell you about his sense of humor.
While wishing I could be there wearing a squid hat too, I was preparing for John’s dad’s return home. He’s been in Melbourne for a week to celebrate his 93rd birthday. Rob’s a New Year baby and he has always celebrated his birthday in Melbourne with the family. This year would be no different. He loves flying – who wouldn’t? They put him on a wheel chair, whisk him on to the plane, cater for his every whim and deposit him at his destination.
There are heaps of cookbooks on our shelves and one was “Tastes of New England” and I began flipping pages. I turned over page after page, going through one state after another and then I saw Apple Crisp and I didn’t have to turn one more page. That recipe tweaked my memory and I went to my mother’s recipes. There were apples in the crisper begging to be used and I had vanilla ice cream. Done.
I knew Rob would like apple crisp and I was pretty sure he would say, “It’s a crumble.” I gave a little eye roll and said, “Yes, it’s a crumble.” No sense arguing. Since this is my memory food and I’m from Maine, it’s a New England apple crisp recipe. If you’re in a part of the world that likes to call it a crumble, go for it.
This is a dish most everyone loves and was a major comfort food in our family. There are few ingredients and almost no preparation. Slice the apples.
Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and ground cloves and sprinkle over apples, then toss to coat.
Make the topping while the oven is pre-heating and place over the apples.
Then 45 minutes later bring it out of the oven. Everyone in the house and half the neighborhood will have enjoyed the aroma coming from the kitchen. Waiting for it to cool just a bit is the most difficult part. The topping was crunchy and the apples meltingly soft.
Do you ever cook memory food when you’re missing someone?
- 6-8 tart apples, peeled and thickly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ (scant) teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon plain / all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons cold butter cut into cubes
- ¾ cup plain flour
- 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup oats
- Preheat oven 180C/350F
- Place apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.. toss to coat.
- Mix sugar, flour and spices and add to apples. Toss to coat.
- Place apples in a baking dish and cover with topping.
- In a food processor or use a fork, two knives or a pastry cutter, add the flour, sugar and butter. Process until it begins to come together.
- Place in a bowl and mix in the oats. Mixture will be crumbly.
- Put the topping over the apples and bake for 45 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling.
- Serve with cream or ice cream (or both if you're feeling naughty)
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day Maureen! Your son looks full of life, true!
LOVE the Squid hats and they made me laugh! Thank you!
When I saw your post, the VERY first thing, I said (outload) was ahhhhhhhhh…
As you transported me back 15,000 on the very day I too was feeling a bit sooky about childhood memories…Looks YUM!
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
awww I bet your son and grandchildren could smell the gorgeous aroma of those apples all the way from home! Bless xx
I hope not, he’d eat the whole thing! 🙂
Aww I love your son’s sense of humor! These apple crisps look divine. I love that you served them in such fancy glasses!
Your son has a fun sense of humor…love the squid hat. 🙂 Hope this crisp made some of the homesickness drift away. Looks wonderful. 🙂
Cass @foodmyfriend says
LOL is it bad that I want a squid hat? This looks so warm and comforting. I would love one for my midnight snack tonight…
Yes, it’s bad. 🙂 LOL
These would be just the kind of dish that I would be homesick about too….. It is food that often connects us to our home and provides comforts.
Happy New Year!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Crisp, crumble, whatever — I just call it good! We haven’t made apple crisp for quite some time, and need to again. While you’re getting all nostalgic (a good thing — I do too), you’ll be interested to know we’re looking at getting a foot of snow tomorrow, with temperatures down to -7°F (which is something like -21°C). Bet you don’t miss that! 😉 I’ll need one of those squid hats to survive.
My sister in New York sent me a screen cap of her local weather report. So I sent her mine.. 100F for the next 3 days. 🙂
Great recipe. Greater story. A son to be proud of for sure.
in a squid hat?
Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books says
Your Son’s Hat is so cute! =)
One of my favorite all time desserts is Apple Crisp. I havent made it in a long time…pinning your recipe to try soon!
Hotly Spiced says
If your son is half as funny as you he would be a riot to be around. I’m sure you must feel really sad and homesick sometimes, especially when you see such a charming and sensible photo of your son on facebook. I hope that’s not the image he uses for his CV. So Rob’s back already? Where did those six days go? I hope you managed to have some quality time with John in his absence xx
I started cleaning, Charlie. I decided if I tossed out heaps of stuff it would mean less work. Half finished projects that I know I’ll never complete because I’ve lost interest, things I was going to get fixed but never did. Maybe I’m the only one who has that sort of crap around. 🙂
Oh Maureen, being a New England girl at heart….now you’ve made me homesick, too! This apple crisp looks absolutely phenomenal! I haven’t made any crisps this year….so I’m going to have to give this one a try! (and love the photo of your son in the squid hat….you just can’t help but smile!)
Oh there was an eyeroll before I laughed and then John said, “You’d be right in there with them, you don’t fool me!” LOL
Your son sounds like a hoot. And a great father to boot. (Funny how that rhymes.)
On reflection, I realize that I’ve done that (cooked certain dishes when I got nostalgic) more than I thought I did. The crumble/crisp is a perfect dish to cook on a cold, snowy day lke today.
I recognized it about 6 months after I moved to Australia.
Eva Taylor says
Your son does indeed have an exceptional sense of humour! Love the squid hat. This crisp not only looks comforting, but I bet made the house smell exceptional! I love a warm apple dessert on a cool day. I’m reading that it’s not very cool on your side of the globe, some parts are seeing 50°C! Stay cool and good luck with Rob coming back!
We’re along the water so it won’t be that hot here but today’s problem is smoke from the fires at Stradbroke Island between here and Brisbane. It’s a cloudless day but at nearly 8am on Sunday morning it is so dark it looks like it’s just before sunrise. Ick. All the house is closed up to keep out the smoke smell. I can’t wait for the wind to change! It’s only going to be 42°C here today. 🙂
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
What a great big kid you have! This apple crisp looks amazing and one that, I’m sure, conjures many memories. It looks like with a son like that, there must be a lot of happy ones! I’ll take mine a la mode!
Oh me too. I love the crisp but without ice cream it’s just apples. 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Crisp or crumble…either way I’d devour it! Where does one get a squid hat from exactly? 😛 I kind of want one!
You too could be the proud owner of a squid hat from the Georgia Aquarium. I could get one for you. 🙂
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Maureen, I always feel joy when I see a post from you in my IN box… and this was no different, only more… how lovely to see a photograph of your son, he looks like the best son ever! Your apple crisp recipe sounds delicious… and, yes, I often cook things that remind me of my loved ones xo
I kind of want to eat this off the screen right now. This is a great comfort food. Also, since this crisp has oats and fruit in it, I can eat it for breakfast, right?
I want a hat like that! I do! What a find!
I want a hat like that! I do!!!!
Loved this post, I think you took your homesickness in the right direction, I could almost smell it from the picture…
I also read the barbecue post written by your son, and agree with you, he should start his own food blog, or own blog on whatever he feels like writing about – I’ll subscribe right away!
HOpe you are having a nice weekend, here the snow falls, light but constant. It is kind of beautiful, but my Brazilian nature rebels against it. A little…
My sister sent me a screen cap of the weather report for New York and I sent her mine. Hers was -7F and mine was 100F. We need to meet in the middle. 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
There is nothing more American than apple crisp! This looks scrumptious, I love the streusel topping. A perfect comfort food!
Oh I cook memory food every day since I lost my mom at 16! It keeps her close, especially in the kitchen. Raising my kids on my own, it helped feel like she was right with me. I can so relate to that. What a fine son you have! Funny, yes indeed, but how proud you must be! This crisp looks very comforting!!
Denise Browning@From Brazil To You says
What a great, funny picture! Life has to be enjoyed and sometimes not taken seriously…
I am also enjoying these apple crisp! Maureen, dear, these crisps look terrific — and with a scoop of ice cream…Mamma mia, it is to make one crazy!
This just screams comfort! Perfect for these cool autumn days/nights
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
It must be tough being so far from your son and grandchildren. Thank goodness for Facebook and the like to allow squid hat photos to be shared! This dish also looks gorgeous and having actually been to New England now, I can just imagine how great it would be in that setting. Happily, I think it will be great in Australia too 🙂
What is hysterical is that I kept changing the title of my recent post from Apple Crisp to Apple Crumble, back and forth. I think maybe yours is a crisp and mine a crumble? Who knows. But I also make mine when we all need a bit of something American. And I think we are both lucky to have raised such handsome, funny, weird and generous sons xoxox
Helene D'Souza says
No matter crisp or crumble, your dessert with ice cream looks like celebrations to me. I don’t recall having made something like this. A reason to do it now. As I know my husband, he will enjoy the crunchy goodness with the ice cream and I think it would make a great dessert for guests, because honestly who can resist something so scrumptious? =)
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
This looks so comforting I love apple desserts. I live away from my family and where I live now the food is quite different very meat and 2 veg with little showing of any dessert that is not straight out of a shop bought ice cream tub! So to remind me of home I bake cakes galore especially ginger cake that reminds me so much of my mum and she always has a tin full of it when I visit.
Rachel Cotterill says
Yep, it’s a crumble 😉 Looks yummy. And I love the squid hats!
LOL I knew someone would say crumble. 🙂 Rob will be happy.
Layla @ Brunch Time Baker says
These little bites look amazing! I sure would love to have that for brunch!!
Shea Goldstein says
Beautiful crumble – especially with the ice cream!
Thanks, Shea, I LOVED your Italian sausage sub photos!
David Crichton says
Maureen, I’ll have to go with the crumble angle being British. Although I love the Americanism of a crisp, makes it sound classier than it is. My desert island last supper dessert is a crumble with hot steaming custard.
I make my topping like yours with oats, but I’ve never seasoned my apples quite like yours. They look amazing. I may have to rustle one up this week in the cold weather.
Dear Maureen, This is a favorite. I love to make this.
Your son has your wonderful sense of humor and is charming. You have a beautiful personality and wonderful humor and yours sons bright smile shows that he shares your heartwarming qualities.
Blessings dear. Catherine xo
Since I’m from the north-east, it’s apple crisp in our neck of the woods, too. Looks luscious, Maureen! My son and his family live in the Atlanta area. Cobb county. We visit there quite often, and have actually thought of retiring there. The weather is a lot warmer than NJ. Happy New Year!
Your son sure has a great sense of humor…
The apple crisp look great Maureen, and yes, I love with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…yum!
Happy New Year and have a great week ahead 😀
Sending you SO much love. My brother wears silly hats like a squid hat too, and I love and miss his sense of humour (particularly because it’s mine, too) just as much as you do your son and his (I’m guessing!) xoxo
Yeah, we’re very much alike but he has a much better sense of humour – I think. 🙂
I love the squid hat!!! So funny!
Your recipe looks like it would make one very delicious and very decadent Apple crumble… I just can’t imagine how good it would be, this is one of my favourite desserts. Such a great comfort food too 🙂
I LOVE your new series on monetising a food blog, Julie! Best of luck with it and we’ll all be watching your success.
Whatever it is called, it sure does look good! I can’t resist apple anything and vanilla ice cream 🙂
Happy New Year!
Thanks, Christin – lovely to meet you!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
Hey Maureen! Happy New Year. I just love your little stories and your son is adorable. I know you must really miss family. You can’t go wrong with apples and a crispy, crumbly top! Yum 🙂
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
I think your son inherited his mom’s sense of humor. 😉 I could go for some of this delicious crisp on this snowy day!
Crumble, crisp, call it what you will, that looks divine. I think apple desserts like this are wonderful. And the squid hats are a hoot! Happy New Year to you!
Oh my gosh this looks to die for! And I love how there aren’t a million ingredients to make this. Yum!
suzanne Perazzini says
Your son looks like such a happy person. I am sure you miss him heaps. Your father-in-law is amazing – on a plane at 93. He has such spirit.
Sandra Garth says
My youngest daughter loves Apple Crisp and I know she would find this one irresistible! I think your son and my sons would get along fabulously.
Tanya @ Australian Foodie says
These just scream Christmas flavours- they look absolutely delish! I’ll be trying them this weekend.
The Wimpy Vegetarian says
I lived in Massachusetts for a number of years and I would definitely call this a crisp. But now that I’m in California, it might be considered a crumble. Either way, it’s one of my favorite comfort desserts. What a joy to have a son with such a wonderful sense of humor and sense of life. And kudos to anyone flying at 93!
Fran @ G'day Souffle' says
We used to call it ‘Apple Beatty’ sometimes. Whatever it’s called, it was my favourite. In high school, our hot cafeteria lunches cost 35 cents, but if you paid 50 cents, you could get an extra big Apple Crisp. Guess which one I got?
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
Your son sounds adorable. This apple crisp would be perfect for the cold nights we’re having. Crisps are one of our family’s favorite desserts too.
Amy (Savory Moments) says
Your apple crisp looks really wonderful Maureen! It’s one of my favorite desserts 🙂
Rachel @ Bakerita says
Apple crisp is one of my absolutely favorite things to eat of all time, and this one looks SO good!! Pinned 🙂
It is the world’s best dessert ever and it makes a pretty darn good breakfast too! I can’t make brownies without feeling my grandmother in the kitchen with me so I make them when I am missing her and her assuring nature. Meatloaf for my mother.
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
Love those hats, thanks for the smile! Apple crisp is a favorite of mine and this recipe reminds me to make it more often!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Sorry you were feeling homesick! But cooking the comforting food from home country is one of the best cure for homesick and I do that too! Your son and grandchildren would enjoy this dish! And I want that cool squid hat! 😀
Marie @citronlimette says
The apple crisp looks amazingly good. My family lives in Quebec and I often cook some food that remind me of home.
I remember Al’s BBQ post. Will his next post be squid? 🙂 Great picture!! Bet he is a wonderful Dad! Apple crisp is definitely something to cure homesickness. Looks yummy!!
Thats perfect with a nice vanilla ice cream, now I am so drooling.
Oh wow, the apple crisp look delicious. This would be perfect using Granny Smith apples! 🙂
Visit my site sometime, I love to cook and have recently posted a chocolate cheesecake recipe!
Mary Frances says
Maureen, Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream is one of my all time favorite desserts to make and eat. I also put oatmeal in my topping, but have never used cloves with the apples. I do fresh grated nutmeg. I’m going to try the cloves next weekend – for our Super Bowl Party.
My homesick comfort food is my Mom’s Pea Soup – she’s long gone but I have her original recipe.
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Maureen! Whenever we visit my “baby” (my 33 year old son) who lives over by Nashville I always make his childhood favorites – lasagna and pumpkin bars. Even though he makes both for himself (he is a good cook) he always says mine taste better! 🙂
LOL my firstborn baby lives in Atlanta and he’s older than yours 🙂 I know when I arrive that I have to cook the old favorites.