This is my first autumn in Seattle, and I'm pleased to report that it's actually been longer than a week, which is the manner in which some seasons in Indiana behave. I've enjoyed watching the trees crank up the brilliance of their colors and then shed, and even with the amount of rain we get here, there are still trees that proudly sway with heavy copper and golden bowers.
Possibly the best aspect of fall is the FOOD. Oh goodness; I'm such a sucker for apple season's bounty, spicy warm cider, huge vats of steaming soup, and the quintessential autumnal perfume of clove and cinnamon.
Last weekend, Willow and I got together prior to a potluck to fabricate a fall fruit crisp. Like most of our cooking adventures, nothing we did was entirely precise, but the results went over superbly at the party. We were inspired by recipes in the Joy of Cooking and Bread & Honey. I scored beautiful pink pearl apples, which are about the same shade as granny smiths on the outside, but are bright pink inside, and sweeter. Yum.
SPICY AUTUMN APPLE AND PEAR CRISP THING
[all amounts are approximate and should be tinkered with]
3 pink pearl apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
3 firm bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon or so lemon juice
a buttload of ground cassia cinnamon
a buttload of ground clove
3/4ish cup all-purpose flour
3/4ish cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar (at least)
1/2 cup white sugar (at least)
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter (at least--we may have doubled this...)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F if you're intending to bake this right away. We made it ahead of time and baked it at the party. Mix apples and pears into a Pyrex baking pan, and squeeze lemon juice over the top to preserve the color. Toss butter, white sugar, brown sugar, flour, and oats in a large mixing bowl until the goo looks like delicious brown mud. Take photos. Add in an exorbitant amount of freshly ground cassia cinnamon and cloves and mix well.
Willow and I made about double the topping that the other recipes call for, but we really like the crispy part. Evenly drop the goo onto the pan of fruit, and spread it gently with your fingers. When you're ready, bake the crisp in the oven for 30-40 min. or until the fruit is soft, hot, and bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes and serve to absolutely smitten guests.
Happy in a pan. See larger images on Flickr.